Bay Area people on the ground in Turkey helping quake victims

Two Bay Area individuals are using their skills to help with disaster relief in Turkey.

One is already on the ground in Turkey and the other leaves Friday morning.

They shared their perspective about the situation there and show how they're going to help victims.

One is a doctor traveling there to provide medical care.

The other person is part of a nonprofit that responds to disasters in the U.S. and other countries. 

For both, their work is their calling.  

"It's a really sad scenario.  In every corner, it's post apocalyptic," said Emily Fullmer, a Redwood City native, who's on the ground in Turkey.  
She said she and her team arrived Tuesday.

Fullmer shared drone footage with KTVU that was  shot by a photographer who's part of her team with Gem, short for   Global Empowering Mission, a nonprofit.  

"It's unfathomable to see how widespread this can be until you drive for miles and miles. It's building after building. It's a horrifying scene," Fullmer said the video was shot over Kahramanmaras, the epicenter of the earthquake in Turkey.

She and her team are  providing necessities to victims,  search and rescue teams  as part of their work for GEM.

She said she can't help but think about the fact that the Bay Area is no stranger to earthquakes.

"We sit on a major fault line so it's a strange feeling being somewhere like this thinking about how we're vulnerable in many parts of the world, especially where i call home," said Fullmer.  

She said GEM was able to ship a large amount of supplies out quickly from its warehouse in Miami to Turkey with the help of Turkish Airlines and the Turkish government. 

She anticipated that Turkey faces a long road to recovery.

"You would need a million bulldozers and bobcats to address all the destruction here," said Fullmer.  

"You end up with major crush injuries, facial trauma, said Dr. Eduardo Dolhun, a San Francisco family  physician who will be flying to Turkey to join Gem to give medical care. 

He's drawing on his experience treating patients in Haiti after a devastating  earthquake in 2010.  

He estimated that for every death, there are 20 people injured, physically and psychologically.  

"You never get used to it.  You focus on the individual right in front of you. You want to do as much as you can  and you  leverage your skillset," said Dolhun.  

He has traveled to Ukraine twice to help provide medical services and supplies. 
He said the decision to travel to Turkey was last minute.

" The sheer destruction was something I couldn't ignore," said Dr. Dolhun.

He's scheduled to fly out of SFO to Turkey Friday morning.  He will be meeting up with the folks at Gem to figure out where he's most needed.

As for Gem, Fullmer said a team with the nonprofit anticipates being in Turkey for the long haul, perhaps a year.

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU