South Georgia paramedics return with tales of destruction - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia paramedics return with tales of destruction

September 1, 2005

Albany- Four south Georgia paramedics are back home in Albany Thursday after a four day trip to help Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans. Thursday we hear about the people they helped and the tragedy they saw, in their own words.

"We were stationed in Baton Rouge, but we went to New Orleans, we were down in Jefferson Parrish," said Tony Owens of Lee County.

"We were busy, from about 7:30, eight o'clock Tuesday morning, until about 2:30, three o'clock Wednesday morning and then we stopped for a little while and got a rest and then we headed out again first thing Wednesday morning," said Chris Eubanks of Lee County.

"There was an Aunt, she had a 13 year old nephew that had cerebral palsy that was stuck in a house that had been flooded. They were upstairs in the attic actually and she had another nephew that was three years old," said John Graddy of Worth County.

"It looked like a lake with the city in the middle of it," said Greg Dambier of Valdosta.

"The boat came to evacuate them and they couldn't get them all on, so the aunt went with the two nephews and we actually transported those three from the staging area at Interstate 10 to Baton Rouge, LSU campus," said Graddy.

"There were people that had been under the bridge there at Interstate 10 for two days, since Monday and they were just dehydrating, there were serious people they were evacuating from the hospitals," said Eubanks.

"In route, It was, I guess it was sort of emotional as far as the three year old goes, because he kept saying, my daddy's up in heaven, my momma I won't ever see her again, he'd done made it up in his mind that everything he had was gone," said Graddy.

"While we were waiting outside the hospital, some citizens, they just come up and wanted us to take care of an older lady who passed out in a parking lot down the street," said Eubanks.

"To see these people over there by the thousands by the tens of thousands, they've lost everything, they've lost all their hope they've lost all their homes," said Graddy.

"That's what we were taught that we were to take care of people and you want to turn around and go down the street to take care of her, but you're obligated to this hospital right here and just having to turn them down," said Danbier.

"Just catastrophic, I mean it was terrible," said Eubanks.

"People on balcony's just waving as you go by and you can't stop, you know that they'll be rescued at some time, but you don't know when," said Danbier.

"It was really a life changing experience, makes you really appreciate what you've got," said Eubanks.

Phoebe Putney does not plan to send more units to New Orleans, but they will if they get another request from disaster officials.

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