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Berlin police officer in Houston to help with hurricane aftermath

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HOUSTON -- A Connecticut police officer is waiting to help the residents of Houston in their recovery.

David Cruickshank, an officer with the Berlin Police Department and member of the National Disaster Medical System, arrived in Houston, Texas on Friday afternoon.

As of Sunday evening, Cruickshank remained in his hotel room, waiting for orders from the state to mobilize. He anticipates being sent out before the day is over. Cruickshank is part of a medical response team with a mobile hospital able to treat about 100 patients an hour. The hospital can run self-sufficiently for about two weeks.

Cruickshank says the rain has been coming in waves, and the storm has been slow moving, worse than anyone anticipated.

He says the flooding poses unique problems when dealing with patients at hospitals and nursing homes. "It's a lot things that people don't think about," said Cruickshank. "When a nursing home evacuates, they leave all the medical records, all of the medications. So we'll have shelters full of patients that have no medical records and have extensive medical issues. So it becomes almost investigative at that point."

Many, he says, are now in panic mode. "It started out just like it would in Connecticut," said Cruickshank. "It's a drinking party. Let's batten down the hatches and ride the storm out. And people's perspectives have changed pretty significantly in the last few hours."


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