Dr. Lars Thestrup

Lars Thestrup has lived in Houston, Texas for ten years, originally coming from Fairfax, Virginia. Thestrup has been involved with EMT since he was eighteen-years-old and is now the assistant medical director of the Houston Fire Department. Prior to living in Houston, Thestrup had one experience with a flashflood in Baltimore, equipping him with an understanding of the command structure and how to make an effective plan when dealing with bare minimum resources.

During Hurricane Harvey, Thestrup worked a medical area at the George R. Brown Shelter as a shelter-in place location for those who needed medical help. Thestrup recounts how operations ran at GRB, with private companies donating medical supplies and medications, and the use of many refrigerators to hold different medications for patients. Thestrup mentioned that the volunteer rate was so high, he had to turn away many individuals since they were taking up space. Thestrup mentions the different cases he saw at GRB, some with lice, others with eclampsia, psychiatric cases, dialysis – he stated that the shelter ran like a typical ER. Thestrup’s main priority at GRB made the realization of all the outside flooding difficult to see, although his property remained undamaged. One of the key pieces of advice Thestrup offered for those experiencing similar future storms is to evacuate when the news and authorities say it is time to. A few minutes of the interview are spent on Thestrup recounting a SWAT experience with a nursing home in the Kingwood area during the flooding, as well as his experience with FEMA providing support for the geriatric population in the GRB. When discussing how the efficacy of GRB was established, Thestrup acknowledged the importance of an authority ladder. Decisions had to go through certain people in order to not crowd other volunteers. Thestrup finishes his interview recounting a story of a retina exam taking place in GRB, and discussing potential shelters for future storms.