Port Angeles firefighters report from Haiti

Port Angeles firefighter John Hall called the Peninsula Daily News today with a report from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where he and four fellow firefighters are performing life-saving medical procedures in the earthquake-stricken country.

Their first day was a full one.

“We had a great day in the field, we helped a lot of people, a lot of them children under 18,” he said. “We helped one 11-year-old girl with a broken leg, and another young girl with a very large abcess that we had to take to the hospital.”

Hall said they also took the 11-year-old with a broken leg to the hospital, but with an orthopedic surgeon ended up recasting her leg in the back of the truck used to transport her to the hospital, then returning her to her tent village.

“We also had a boy about 7 with basically all the skin pulled off his foot that we redressed and took to the hospital,” he said.

“Tomorrow it looks like we might get to fly in to the backcountry to help a lot of the little towns that haven’t had any aid at all,” he said.

That flight would be courtesy of the U.S. Army, he added.

“It’s been really fulfilling down here,” he said.

Other firefighters from the Port Angeles Fire Department who made the trip with Hall are Capt. James Mason, Lt. Kevin Denton, paramedic Mark Karjalainen and firefighter Bryant Kroh.

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