Memphis EMT's return from Gulf Coast - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis EMT's return from Gulf Coast

While Governor Barbour makes plans for the future of the Mississippi coast, some of the men and women on the front lines just returned home to the Mid-South.

Memphis EMT's saw many examples Hurricane Katrina's wrath in person while working in the Gulf Coast Region.

Glenn Faught headed up a group of EMT teachers and students asked to support firefighters, police officers, and others in areas heavily devastated by the hurricane.

"They may have lost their home but they didn't lose their family members," he said. "Somebody else may have lost a family member, and that would be more tragic to them."

But despite their losses, Gulf Coast emergency workers stayed on the job.

"They felt they could go on a day longer because you were standing their beside them," said Paramedic Samantha Dundee.

The Memphis EMT's are part of the Critical Incident Stress Management Program based at Southwest Tennessee Community College.

"So the mental health professional provided support and in some cases intervention," said Dr. Lewis Sloan, an EMT psychologist.

It was the Memphis group's job to keep an eye on stress levels and fatigue, and either counsel those who were overwhelmed by what they saw.

Getting back to normal along the gulf coast will be a long and drawn out challenge, and members of the Memphis EMT unit are already making plans to go back.

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