The archived audio recording of this moving interview is now posted. What is the human toll in disaster management? Rene Steinhauer shares a vivid/graphic accounting of what we never see in a disaster – unless we are one of the victims.
Renee Steinhauer status update.
January 6, 2015 (Honolulu, HI) – Local nurse and Honolulu resident, Rene Steinhauer, has just been released from a 21 day Ebola quarantine period that he completed at home in Honolulu after returning from working as a chief nurse in an Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia.
Rene Steinhauer, author of
Saving Jimani, Life and Death in the Haiti Earthquake
Holy Hormones Honey!
Wednesday, December 10
7pm ET – 4pm PT
The Liberty Beacon Network
January will mark the 5th year of the Haiti earthquake. While most of us watched the unfolding events in sound bytes – tempered with celebrities who made appearances and who pitched in after the disaster – we shook our heads and muttered ‘glad its not here’, then the earthquake made it through the news cycle and we returned to our daily lives. But not for Rene Steinhauer, RN, EMT-P, an accomplished nurse with skilled disaster training experience. Rene responded to the earthquake crisis because the need was far greater than the few good men and women actually trained to respond to an incident of such magnitude. With every minute lost in packing, traveling, and organizing the team and supplies before the flight to Haiti, Rene was counting off the lives of Haitians lost before the disaster team arrived.
‘Saving Jimani’ is so much more than the reporting of life and death in the Haiti earthquake. It is a story of raw human emotion, grappling with the reality of hundreds if not thousands of people with broken bodies and spirits seeking medical help in an area where there was none. A story of raw human doubts and fears about gathering and organizing a team in the midst of the fear of failure; finding supplies, and rudimentary equipment to perform surgical theater-type operations in an abandoned orphanage. It is the story of heart break, faith, failure and triumph. I am honored to bring Rene’s story to you.
Rene and I have spoken and exchanged communications via Skype and I have read and listened as he shared his profound insights about his experience in Haiti as well as in other disasters – including the Asian Tsunami, the typhoon in the Philippines, and Hurricane Katrina. Rene has been on front lines of the Ebola outbreak mobilizing, training and working with the ‘Ebola Army,’ to fend off an global imminent disaster. His work in Liberia is just about complete and Rene will find himself coming home at the beginning of the New Year – ready to be with family and friends until the next disaster strikes.
“Working with Ebola is unlike any nursing job in the world. A measurement of success is directly proportional to resources and as many as 50% of your patients may die. Failure can result in the death of the nurse or another healthcare worker.” ~Rene Steinhauer
Excerpt from “Saving Jimani” available now on Amazon:
The earth shakes, buildings fall, hundreds of thousands of people die in minutes. Others lie broken and infected in the streets of Haiti begging, and waiting for help. An empty orphanage is the battleground for life and death in the Haiti Earthquake. Two hours from civilization, a small team of doctors, nurses and paramedics frantically struggle to save two thousand patients as the hope of survival dwindles minute by minute. The battle has just begun. And the medical team asks, “Can we save any of these people?”
Managing the twelve-person team, Rene Steinhauer, a weary combat medic, stands witness to human suffering greater than he ever encountered in Iraq. Rene partners with Danya Swanson, a “daddy’s girl” with a nursing degree who thinks she has what it takes to save the day and suddenly finds herself as the disaster manager for Jimani. Rene dries his tears and gets up to fight in a brutal battle where amputated arms and legs are piled up until somebody, anybody, has time to drag them to the fire pit. The battle rages, hopes are raised and dashed and thousands of lives hang by a thread. Can an inexperienced nurse, with no disaster experience, really save Jimani?
Before authoring books and magazines, Rene Steinhauer started a career in medicine as a photographer with the American Red Cross. As he responded to disasters he felt more inclined to assist in the disaster than to take photographs of it. During one disaster exercise he encountered a beautiful flight nurse from the University of California at Davis Medical Center. He wanted to meet this woman and a friend suggested he volunteer in the emergency room where the helicopter crew was based. He did it.
At a young age, he never had the courage to speak with the flight nurse, but his career was initiated. He became an emergency medical technician (EMT) in 1991 and then went on to become a paramedic in 1992. By 1995, he was already working in international medicine with adventures in Saudi Arabia and a brief experience in war torn Sarajevo. After working in a refugee camp in Rwanda, he decided that he needed to obtain his nursing degree. In 1999, he completed his degree and continued on his quest to save lives, volunteer overseas and travel with medicine. Since then, he has practiced medicine on all seven continents including working as a flight nurse in Antarctica, a combat medic in Iraq and a disaster manager in Hurricane Katrina, the Asian Tsunami, the Haiti Earthquake and most recently Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines.
In addition to writing Saving Jimani: Life and Death in the Haiti Earthquake, Rene Steinhauer has written for numerous medical journals and magazines including: The Journal of Emergency Medical Services, the American Journal of Nursing, Parachutist Magazine and Soldier of Fortune Magazine. Learn more about Saving Jimani at https://www.facebook.com/HaitiHearts.
I loved the book! I found myself crying several times. I could not put this thing down and I really should have been studying some other material this week!
– Dawn Carrol, Waco, Texas
“An inspirational account of the Haiti Earthquake from the front lines of the disaster. Educational and sometimes heartbreaking it is a must read for all disaster management personnel.”
-Martin Boyle, Certified Emergency Manager
Australian Antarctic Division