Most hospitals don’t have their own navy. Ochsner Baptist in New Orleans does, complete with a fleet of rescue boats and staffers who undergo water rescue training—all because of Hurricane Katrina.
Ten years ago, Dr. Glenn Casey and others at the hospital scrambled to find boats, in order to evacuate patients and staff. He said it became clear that they had to act because rescuers would be a long time in coming.
“We realized that the floodwaters had taken over throughout the city, and we realized that we were isolated,” recalled Casey, who was an anesthesiologist at the hospital, which at the time was known as Memorial Medical Center.
“The hospital had a couple of outboard motor boats, but we also got very ingenious in that we saw boats in the neighborhood that were just floating,” he said.
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