By Crystal Hamm, DynCorp International
DynCorp International sent law enforcement officers to the GulfCoast to offer security to residents and the company’s employees,and to help evaluate six hospitals hit hard by the effects ofHurricane Katrina.
Thirteen officers on leave from their regular jobs flew toHattiesburg, Miss., on September 2 at the request of H. Ross Perotand Tenet Health Organization. They evaluated the loss of employeesand patients, and the hospitals’ structural damage andfunctionality.
The DI officers were deputized in St. Bernard Parish andhelicopters were provided for their transportation around theflooded areas.
They assessed the damages to five hospitals in New Orleans and onein Biloxi, Miss. Of the six hospitals, only one – in Slidell, La. -was functional. The officers controlled access to that facility tomaintain peace in the wake of the hurricane.
The officers also helped provide security to engineers while theyassessed damages. And, in one instance, DI officers escorted Tenetmanagement to a local bank to acquire payroll for theiremployees.
DI’s operation also contributed to the rescue of many animalsstranded by the storm.
“When we searched Memorial Hospital … we discovered that theentire parking garage was full of animals,” said Paul Gant, DI’sdetail lead for this operation.
The discovery of the overwhelming number of abandoned animals ledto the development of Operation Bow-Wow, in which DI, an Oprah talkshow crew and others rescued more than 50 dogs, cats, and evenhamsters, from flooded New Orleans.
“This assignment is unique to anything we have done before, butaspects of it are similar to operations that we are currentlyrunning around the world. We provide asset protection in severallocations including Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar,” Gant said.