Commissioner Joe A. Martinez to Present a Proclamation to the FIU-FAST team for serving those in need when disasters strike

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe A. Martinez will present a Proclamation to the FIU-FAST (Florida Advanced Surgical Transport) team for their selfless acts of serving communities that have been affected by disasters. The presentation of the Proclamation will be before the ribbon cutting ceremony of the mobile disaster field hospital on Wednesday, March 14 at 10:30 a.m. at the FIU Ambulatory Care Center, 800 SW 108th Ave., Miami, FL, 33174.

“I’m very proud of the FIU-FAST team for rising to the occasion at a moment’s notice to assist anyone that is in need anywhere in the world,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe A. Martinez. “The members of this team are all volunteers who deserve to be recognized for the help they give to others selflessly here in our community and to those in catastrophic situations.”

The FIU-FAST team is an elite team of highly trained and experienced disaster medical professionals. They are the only civilian crew of its kind in the nation. The all-volunteer team can quickly mobilize and be ready to deploy to disaster areas anywhere in the world. Each 36-person team have the medical training and skills to set up an adult and pediatric intensive care unit that is equipped to perform life-saving surgical procedures and critical care for a minimum of 72 hours. In addition to on-site care, FIU-FAST teams are qualified to transport critical care patients in either civilian and/or military aircraft.

In February 2017, six physician and nurses from FIU-FAST deployed to Guatemala for a 12-day medical humanitarian mission called “Continuing Promise 2017” with the U.S. Department of Defense Command, seeing more than 5,600 patients. The FIU-FAST team deployed two teams of medical volunteers (physicians, nurses and paramedics) to assist West Kendall Baptist Hospital and Jackson South Community Hospital shortly after Hurricane Irma made landfall in Miami, handling the overwhelming surge of patients that filled their emergency rooms. The FIU-FAST team also deployed one of their Western Shelters Base of Operations (with HVAC system and generator) to support hospital operations for Baptist Health Fisherman’s Community Hospital in Marathon devastated by Hurricane Irma.

A Certificate of Appreciation will also be awarded to Bridget Pelaez, a paramedic and nurse. Ms. Pelaez is a flex commander who manages the schedules of dozens of nurses and doctors. She was deployed to Houston following Hurricane Harvey’s destructions and later to the Keys after Hurricane Irma. Ms. Pelaez was key in the assistance to all those affected by the devastation; despite no running water or electricity and on many occasions no bed to sleep on.

WHO:               Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe A. Martinez

WHAT:            FIU-FAST team Proclamation

WHEN:             March 14, 2018, 10:30 a.m.

WHERE:           FIU Ambulatory Care Center, 800 SW 108th Ave., Miami, FL, 33174


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