Logan CrawfordOct 11, 2017, 4:47 pmOct 11, 2017, 5:50 pm

Northwell volunteers bound for Puerto Rico

Medical staff to provide support after Hurricane Maria


New Hyde Park — Twenty-seven volunteers from Northwell Health will be joining dozens of other medical professionals heading to Puerto Rico to help after the hurricane.

Volunteers will get "go-bags" containing things like mosquito nets, sun screen and water. And every aid has experience in dealing with these conditions. Many of whom have military backgrounds.

Billy Hastings, a paramedic who has volunteered to help after natural disasters, acknowledges that the biggest challenge will be the limited electricity at the hospitals in Puerto Rico. He says this will be his biggest mission.

Officials say 67 hospitals lost power during the storm. All but two are back open, but half of those are on generator power and Northwell staff say medical attention is scarce.

"We want to leave with hopefully one person saying it's not the end; all is not lost. I'm talking to you. I'm breathing. I'm alive,” says Emergency Medical Technician Eddie Reyes.

Expected to be in Puerto Rico for about two weeks, medical volunteers will be leaving as early as Thursday, Oct. 12.

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