The team consists of 42 doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, and allied medical responders from the area. They are part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's team called the Florida-5 Disaster Medical Assistance Team, which is coordinating federally and was created by executive order by the president in 1984.
"We are going to take the burden off of some of the emergency responders that have been out there since day one," said Peter DeJesse, a retired Broward Sheriff' Office battalion chief. "That's the reason for the mission. The mission is to take some of the weight off some of the workers, allow them to go home, take care of their own families."
The Florida team was created in 1994 after Hurricane Andrew and is made up of members from hospitals and Fire Rescue departments from Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe.
It will respond to New York City and the team members will serve up to two weeks in a medical capacity.
The team personnel come from law enforcement including Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue, Coral Springs Fire Rescue, Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue among others. And the medical personnel include employees from Broward Health, Memorial Healthcare System, Boca Raton Regional Medical Center and West Boca Medical Center and Palms West Hospital.
"The services we provide to the citizens whle we're there are free, and they're usually grateful that we've put ourselves into their disasters to be of service," said Debra Hause-DeJesse, a registered nurse at Memorial Health System.
There are also some private doctors participating.
"This is a first time for a cold weather deployment. Most of them have all been in warm weather," said Andy Popick from Davie Fire Rescue.