Houston ER Doctor Helps Flood Evacuees In Colorado

Richard Bradley, M.D., specializes in emergency medical services and out-of-hospital care, disaster medicine, military medicine and injury prevention. [Red Cross image]
Helicopter searches and airlifts have resumed over flood-damaged mountain towns in Colorado. The weather has cleared, allowing crews to search for people still stranded by the flooding that began late last week. One Houston doctor is part of that effort.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency sent 80-person search-and-rescue teams to assist with continuing rescues in Larimer County and providing aid to other communities following massive flooding that began last week.

Dr. Richard Bradley is the chief of EMS and Disaster Medicine at Houston's UT Health Science Center. He's part of the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue team that's been going continuously since the rains have stopped.

"Now we're able to get back and get the helicopters up, and we're in the process of providing evacuation for the residents in the impacted area, who are cut off because the roads have washed out and they have no way to get out. We're also starting our search and rescue operation, to go in for a look for anybody who may not be able to come to the helicopters, for anyone who may be distressed."

He says he's been busy at their base in Boulder, the first place evacuees stop once they've been rescued.

"Everyone who I've seen so far has been in pretty good shape. But I did have a couple of people who are impacted by landslide and rising water, and they had some injuries that were a couple of days old, mostly fortunately, just abrasion and a cracked rib, just about the worst of it."

Bradley says the disaster ranks fairly close to what happened after Hurricane Katrina with flooding and house damage, but not people affected.

"I'm not saying it's as bad as Katrina, but clearly the people who are here who've lost and lost their belongings, for them this is a really big deal."

The team he's part of is made up of the country's best urban and search experts, working in partnership with a number of other agencies.

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Pat Hernandez

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Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...