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Local nurse stands ready to help in event of natural disasters

Anita Briggs is a registered nurse at U.M. Mott Children's hospital by day. She also responds to disaster scenes to treat patients.
Credit: WTOL 11
Anita Benning is a registered nurse at U.M. Mott Children's hospital by day, but she also responds to disaster scenes to treat patients

TOLEDO, Ohio — A local registered nurse is willing to take a break from her hospital job with all the modern conveniences to help out when a natural disaster strikes.

"Mother Nature does what she's gonna do," says R.N. Anita Briggs. She's has seen a lot in terms of natural disasters, like the devastation coming from the Bahamas right now. 

Briggs serves with Ohio 1-DMAT. That's Disaster Medical Assistance Team. She says, it's kind of like M*A*S*H. "We can make a mobile hospital. We have everything we need to be a self-sufficient hospital, you know on a much smaller scale in the event of a disaster," said Briggs.

Briggs is just back from Puerto Rico and Miami, waiting for Hurricane Dorian to arrive to then provide assistance. 

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Briggs has helped victims of many disasters since she joined up in 2007. "It was after Hurricane Katrina and everybody had the little boxes out, you know, for change and everything and I thought 'I really can do better than that. Yeah, I can do something better than that,'" recalls Briggs.

Briggs lives in Toledo. Her day job is at the University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital. So working in a disaster zone is a bit different. She says, "You get really back down to your basics, which I think is great. And then you have to be very creative, how are you going to make a splint?"

Briggs expects a busy hurricane season ahead and when the call from the government comes, she's ready to take off again.

"Extremely rewarding. At the end of the day you're really tired, but you know you've really helped someone and you've made a difference on the worst day of their lives," says Briggs.

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