After about 17 hours in the air, we are now at the Cebu Base Camp. We have an outstanding team of guys. All four of the other guys are paramedics. I am the only physician on this team. Ian Tully is from Whidby Island, Gary Howe is from Tacoma, Dan Livengood and Rob Watson are both from the Portland area. The whole team is very experienced in international disasters so this is going to be great.
The teams that get the most done during disasters are the ones that don't care who gets the credit. They are the teams that are willing to partner and help each other out. Some teams have the attitude that you need to "plant the flag" and defend your turf so you can impress people with how much you get done. Medical Teams International (www.medicalteams.org) focuses on the need and how to meet it rather than seeking the credit. We are partnering with the International Medical Corps (IMC). The advance team, led by Ian Yocum (Incident Commander), has been doing a boatload of networking, partnering, supply gathering and planning. When we left Seattle a day ago we thought that we were going to go to Guiain Island. In the world of disasters, things change rapidly. The word now is that we are going to split our team. Dan, Rob and I are going by 8 hr boat journey to Tacloban because the IMC team there needs us. Bring it on. If there is one thing I've learned over the years doing disasters, it is to go with the flow. I'm not sure if I will have Internet in Tacloban or not. If I do, I will continue to post updates and podcasts.
Thanks again to the folks at home that covered shifts, rallied supplies and are praying for us. Thanks to Leo for taking me to the airport.
Ready, Set.... Deploy.