WASHINGTON — The federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita showed that medical personnel deployed to emergencies need more hands-on training rather than relying on computers to prepare, federal investigators say.
The medical teams that responded to the hurricanes often lacked experience and effective training. These teams also did not include enough nurses, dentists and mental health professionals, the investigators said.
The hurricanes, which occurred in August and September of 2005, led to nearly 1,900 deaths and $91 billion in damage. More than 2,100 officers within the U.S. Public Health Service Commission Corps were sent to the Gulf Coast in response.
While state health officials credit the Corps’ with saving many lives, the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services said there also was plenty of room for improvement.
New Orleans expecting busy, lucrative Mardi Gras
NEW ORLEANS — The final weekend leading up to Mardi Gras has been a boon for hotels, restaurants and bars, with business generally brisker than last year, the first Carnival since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.
Merchants, hotel operators and others felt the crowd would exceed the 700,000 the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau said visited the city during the same time period last year.
More than 95 percent of the city’s total available rooms were reserved for Mardi Gras weekend, said the president of the city hotel association.
Newly found home movie
shows JFK before shooting
DALLAS — A recently discovered home movie shows a brief but clear glimpse of President Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy just seconds before his assassination.
The silent, 8 mm color film is “the clearest, best film of Jackie in the motorcade,” said Gary Mack, curator of the Sixth Floor Museum, which focuses on Kennedy’s life and assassination. The film was unveiled Monday on the museum’s Web site.
The film shows a clear glimpse of President Kennedy and the first lady a few blocks from Dealey Plaza and roughly 90 seconds before the shooting.
Bush evokes ideals from Washington’s presidency
MOUNT VERNON, Va. — Marking George Washington’s 275th birthday, President Bush on Monday linked the ideals of the first president to the war being fought by the 43rd, saying Washington’s goals guided the nation’s quest to extend freedom beyond its borders.
“George Washington’s long struggle for freedom has ... inspired generations of Americans to stand for freedom in their own time,” Bush said, using a morning visit to Mount Vernon to draw on the similarities of the troubles faced at the birth of the nation and the troubles he is facing now.
Most premature baby ever will be going home today
MIAMI — A premature baby that doctors say spent less time in the womb than any other surviving infant is to be released from a Florida hospital today.
Amillia Sonja Taylor was just 9½ inches long and weighed less than 10 ounces when she was born Oct. 24. She was delivered 21 weeks and six days after conception. Full-term births come after 37 to 40 weeks.
— Wire Reports