Hospital, retailers begin hurricane relief efforts - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hospital, retailers begin hurricane relief efforts

August 30, 2005

Albany- Officials at Phoebe Putney called emergency management agencies in both Louisiana and Mississippi a couple of days ago letting them know they'd be willing to send manpower to help.

"The fire, ems and police are a very close knit family," says Critical Care Transport Team Supervisor Virgil Anderson.

Four paramedics from Phoebe Putney headed to Louisiana Monday.

"They are critical care transport personnel. They took a critical care transport truck. They will be running 9-1-1 calls and assisting the local emergency medical services with their calls," Anderson says.

Their first stop was in Baton Rouge, but, as their co-workers here in South Georgia learned Tuesday morning, they were soon re-routed to New Orleans.

"They are evacuating the dome now by boat and our transport team members are in charge of the staging area, and will be taking care of the patients as they come off," Anderson tells the staff.

The retail industry has also started their own relief effort campaign. Wal-mart and Sam's stores are collecting donations for hurricane victims, and Winn Dixie has launched it's "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" program which allows customers to add donations to their bills. The money will then go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

"It's makes us feel good because we're helping out, and it makes the customers aware that Winn Dixie is trying to help out," says produce manager Mylinda Greene.

Emergency management officials are also compiling a list of volunteers who would be willing to help with disaster relief efforts. They have not received an official request for manpower yet, but if you are interested contact the Dougherty County E-M-A at 229-431-2155.

If you want to learn how you can volunteer through the American Red Cross call the local chapter office at 229-436-4845.

The American Red Cross has opened Henderson Gym as an emergency shelter for evacuees who cannot financially afford to stay in local hotels. It's located at 701 Willard Street in Albany. Meals and security will be provided.

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