Polk County Fire Rescue Paramedics Deployed To Texas
Bartow, Fla. (August 31, 2017) — Two Polk County Fire Rescue paramedics are deployed to Texas to assist with rescue and recovery efforts taking place due to Hurricane Harvey. Captain Tony Damiano and John Mikula are a part of Florida’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), which is part of the National Disaster Medical Services.
Damiano is serving with FL-2 DMAT and Mikula is on FL-6 DMAT. They will spend a minimum of two weeks providing medical care and assistance to those affected by the catastrophic storm. “We’re like a mobile hospital,” said Mikula. “We have doctors, nurses and paramedics on our team.”
Both paramedics joined DMATs after Hurricane Katrina. This is Mikula’s eighth deployment and Damiano’s fifth. Mikula was deployed on Wednesday and Damiano the day before.
“At 4 p.m. on Tuesday I was given notice to deploy and I was on a flight out of Orlando at 7:30 p.m. My go-bag is always packed and ready,” said Damiano. “This is the norm for us; we are to be wheels up in about three hours.”
Damiano has been with Polk County Fire Rescue since 2004 and Mikula since 2005.