Medic team aids Haiti

Bryan Swanberg, firefighter/paramedic, left, Sandra Boudrou, right, and Jay Jacobsen, not pictured, emergency medical technicians in Sequim, will represent the International Medical Assistance Team 3 in Haiti through Feb. 12. They are working with the Army’s 82nd Airborne to provide medical assistance to Jan. 10 earthquake victims in rural areas who have not yet had medical attention. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

by MATTHEW NASH Sequim Gazette

Three Clallam County Fire District 3 medics took the hands-on approach for Haiti earthquake relief.

Bryan Swanberg, firefighter/paramedic, Sandra Boudrou and Jay Jacobsen, emergency medical technicians, left Thursday, Feb. 4, to provide medical care for victims of the Jan. 10 quake in rural areas outside Port Au Prince, Haiti.

“Many of the people haven’t even seen treatment yet,” Swanberg said.

The team is staying in a camp near 100,000 people who need care.

Before leaving, Swanberg said he expects their duties to include cleaning wounds, treating gangrene and transporting amputees to the hospital.

“There’s a huge need for pain control for children, in smaller portions, because most of the items the military has are for adults,” Swanberg said. 

The Sequim group brought 30 boxes of medical supplies from Olympic Medical Center and local clinics.

The three joined five registered nurses from the Seattle area and flew to Florida to connect with nonprofit “2 Life 18,” a service group formed after Hurricane Katrina to aid first-responders’ efforts. That group transported the team and their supplies to Haiti.

Swanberg said he’d been looking for some time to find an opportunity to help in Haiti and 2 Life 18 provided an opportunity to partner with the Army’s 82nd Airborne to better serve the area.

“It’s going to be intense, but with eight people we can make a difference,” Swanberg said before leaving.

Each Sequim medic has several years of experience. Swanberg has been with Fire District 3 for 13 years, Jacobsen for 12, and Boudrou for six.

Boudrou has been responding to Type-I disasters since 1989 and has worked on relief and cleanup efforts after hurricanes, tornadoes and the Space Shuttle Columbia’s destruction on Feb. 1, 2003.

Participants paid their own expenses and are serving as volunteers with coworkers covering their shifts. 

Donations to offset their costs can be made out to “Professional Fire Fighters,” memo: “Haiti Relief Effort,” and sent to P.O. Box 1431, Sequim, WA 98382.

The team returns on Feb. 12.

Reach Matthew Nash at

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