Update: 1/20/10Per: WDIV News Operations Manager Jeff Liebman @ 5:15 p.m. Just a few minutes ago (5:15pm ET) I received a call from our team in Haiti. They have arrived at the mission and described the conditions along the way as worse than anticipated.
We are attempting to establish a video connection with them, and put McGeorge live on the air sometime during our early newscasts.
We still have to work out a few issues involving our IRIDIUM satellite phone, which is blocked at the moment, but we?re working to get that resolved.
Per: WDIV News Operations Manager Jeff Liebman @ noon Just got an update from team en-route to Haiti. Their plane just lifted off from the tarmac with all of our gear on-board. They have about a 1-hour flight time to Nassau, Bahamas where they will have to re-fuel and await clearance by the U.S. military to land in Port-au-Prince. They don?t yet have an exact clearance time from the Bahamas airport, however they anticipate around 2pm ET arriving in Port-au-Prince.
1st Blog Post From Team: 1/19/10
Tim Pamplin: 4:00 p.m.
Logistics: We have been hearing a lot about the logistical headache within Haiti. USAF is now airdropping life-sustaining supplies - something they said was too dangerous for people on the ground. The need outweighed those concerns.
Dr. McGeorge and I are now at DTW waiting for a flight to Orlando. The plan is to get a car, you saw the supplies we have -- better be a big car. We then drive two hours to an airstrip on the Atlantic coast.
We have been advised by our ministerial liaison that we are to be at the airfield at 6 a.m.. There is a small concern -- our 700 pounds of kit. I fear the plane that we are going to fly into Port-au-Prince maybe a Cessna, or something similar. If that's the case, some very difficult decisions shall have to be made.
Dr. Frank McGeorge: 3:42 p.m.
It's almost 4 p.m. We should have been well on our way to Haiti by now. Thanks to fog at City airport we were delayed and diverted to Delta, which was very helpful in getting us out of Detroit, and on the first leg to Haiti.
Our equipment is heavy and bulky, so my biggest concern right now is getting it from the airport we land at to the next plane taking off from another airstrip.
Tim Pamplin and I are becoming fast friends; I will probably come back saying "Cheerio" as he does.
Running through all the checklists in my mind I am as prepared for this as I can be. Several of my physician friends have already warned of the infectious diseases we are likely to encounter.
Reports from the ground suggest there are already patients there waiting in need, we should be there tomorrow. I plan to get as much information out as possible through tweets, blogs, video at Henry Ford's website and obviously WDIV. Wish us luck, we are prepared but nothing can completely prepare you for a disaster like this.