Fire Chief, Nurse Assisting Post Hurricane Michael

Mark Ellis, a fire chief, and Julija Joy, a nurse practitioner, both of Wellington, have deployed to assist the federal medical response to Hurricane Michael as part of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS).

NDMS is a federal program that can support communities with medical care, veterinary care and mortuary assistance during disasters or public health emergencies at the request of states. NDMS is among the resources made available by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

“ASPR moved about 400 medical and public health personnel, along with their caches of medical equipment, into impacted areas,” NDMS Acting Director Ron Miller said.

Thus far, teams have seen more than 1,300 patients. NDMS efforts to help residents of North Florida will continue until the state no longer needs the support.

NDMS comprises approximately 5,000 physicians, nurses, veterinary staff, paramedics, fatality management professionals, and experienced command and control staff, organized into more than 70 response teams. When an emergency overwhelms local and state resources, ASPR looks to the expertise within NDMS from across the country to assist in the response.

For more information about federal medical response and NDMS, visit