Medics from Travis Air Force Base deployed to Harvey

- Crews at Travis Air Force Base are gearing up to assist with humanitarian relief efforts in Texas. Two medical teams are set to be the first to leave, while other base personnel are on standby. 

Roughly 60 personnel at the base were waiting to hear if they'd be needed as the situation changed by the hour. 

The two medical teams are set to leave Wednesday for Little Rock Air Force Base. 

"We're ready, absolutely. We only need 12 hours to be prepared to be sent off on a mission," said C-5 pilot Capt. Michael Zeleski. He's among the airmen and women prepared to help with efforts following Hurricane Harvey.

"You can fly up to 837,000 pounds and so we can provide a lot of cargo, whether that's water, food, medical supplies. We can pick up and go with something that can help thousands and thousands of people," Capt. Zeleski. 

Across the base at USAF David Grant Medical Center, two critical care air teams are preparing for Wednesday's deployment. They will stage for their mission in Texas at Little Rock Air Force Base. The goal is to transport critically injured or ill evacuees to hospitals.  

"We are prepared to take care of emergencies in flight," said Cardiologist Andrew Clark. He said the teams fly in planes that are like intensive care units in the air. 

"It's noisy. Things like stethoscopes have no bearing on a plane. It's hard to hear. You're dealing with turbulence. You're dealing with vibrations. You're dealing with altitude as well," Clark said. 

"We have a lot of experts here who have trained, who have done military exercises, who have been working very hard in their normal day job and now they're going to be able to help and answer our nation's call. It's been an honor for me and my team," said Maj. Michaela Lewis, a medical readiness flight commander.

Among the roughly 60 airmen and women on stand by, Zeleski said he's ready and waiting. 

"I would love to be a part of any support missions to help out Americans that are in need." he said. 

The two medical teams do not have a timeline on how long they'd be deployed. 

 

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