Nebraska National Guard deploys medical team to aid in hurricane relief
The Nebraska National Guard is deploying a 44-person medical team to Texas to provide emergency medical assistance to Hurricane Harvey relief operations.
The deployment is in response to an emergency management assistance compact request from Texas to Nebraska.
The deployment is primarily made up of airmen from the Nebraska Air National Guard’s 155th Medical Group in Lincoln. Several Nebraska Army National Guard medical professional are also involved in the mission.
The deployment includes Nebraska Air National Guard medical providers, nurses, emergency medical technicians and other medical professionals.
The Nebraska Guardsmen are part of the state’s larger CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosive) Enhanced Response Force Package (CERF-P), which most recently conducted an emergency response exercise at the Nebraska National Guard’s Mead Training Site last weekend. Many of the deploying Nebraska Guardsmen were involved in that exercise.
“This is what we do as members of the Nebraska National Guard. We stand ready and able to assist to our neighbors during their times of need,” said Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, Nebraska adjutant general.
To help with the relief efforts, the National Guard has sent a UH-60 Blackhawk, a CH-47 Chinook and UH-72 Lakota helicopters and crews from units based in Lincoln and Grand Island. Twenty-three soldiers initially were deployed to Texas, which has grown to 36.
The Nebraska National Guard crews have rescued 310 people so far, including pregnant women, infants and the wheelchair-bound, in addition to 44 animals.
Crews have also transported more than 86,000 pounds of cargo including hundreds of cases of water, 3,000 pounds of MREs and 500 pounds of blood.
Nebraska Department of Energy reports that due to the fuel supply emergency caused by Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exercised EPA’s emergency fuel waiver authority to help ensure an adequate supply of fuel throughout the country.
As a result of the waiver, a broader range of fuels may be sold to offset reduced supplies resulting from refinery shut-downs, supply disruptions and diversions caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Included among these fuels is E-15, which is approved by EPA for use in all vehicles model year 2001 and newer.
E-15 is a fuel blend containing 15 percent ethanol (5 percent more ethanol than E-10).
Current regulations allow E-15 to be used in vehicle model-years 2001 and newer during Sept. 15 and May 31 each year, but only in flex-fuel vehicles June 1 to Sept. 14 each year.