KSST had the opportunity to speak with several members of a FEMA deployed COVID relief team this past week. Team members are from as far as six states away. They are here to provide critical support for a northeast Texas hospital that is being overrun with patients. Among them are nurses and respiratory therapists.
As members of a Federal program, they are not allowed to speak on any specifics. We did ask them about any personal advice they might have for everyone. Each member we spoke to said that getting vaccinated, and staying current is what they do for themselves.
They also admit some frustration when they encounter people who refuse to get immunized. Team members have traveled across the country to live in a hotel for weeks on end, and are risking their health to help out.
“The least people can do is get vaccinated.”Anonymous Medical Team Member
Members admit they are being compensated at a significantly higher rate than in their home area, but were not sure if the windfall was going to be worth the risk.
They will serve a multi week tour here in Texas, with 6 days on, and 1 day off. FEMA provides them with transportation from their hotel to the hospital. Personal trips to local stores to purchase essentials or for something to eat are few and far between. Usually on their day off all they want to do is sleep. The longs shifts, demanding non-stop work, and the commute leave little time for much else.