Saturday, May 3, 2008

In Case of Emergency...

I had fun today. While most people wouldn't consider it fun, I thought it was great. As part of my EMS (emergency medical services) focus, I got to participate in a disaster drill.

The scenario was a mass casualty incident (think Katrina) where the local hospitals are either destroyed or overwhelmed, and patients need to be shipped out. We, Buffalo/Erie County, were on the receiving end of a group of patients that had been evacuated.

A C-130 from the NY National Guard flew in the patients. It was amazing being on the tarmac on the opposite side of where I usually am in the terminal.

the c-130 landing, people in the terminal had posted signs that there was a drill going on so they wouldn't panic at all the uniforms and flashing lights

The patients had been previously triaged (arranged in order of severity). Our people then performed a second triage as patients were brought off the plane:

"patients" being unloaded off the airplane

We then brought them to our staging area where we evaluated them and re-triaged them for transport to local hospitals:

Most of the patients didn't change from their original diagnoses, but some patient became worse or got better, and we needed to re-evaluate them. We then got them all on ambulances and "discharged them" from our triage center.

After this, we had a chance to check out the plane and some of the other equipment. The airport firefighters were very nice and let me climb up on their fire truck:

And, then they let us explore the plane a bit:

the plane is able to carry about 244 patients stacked 5 high on gurneys

a view from the cockpit

All in all a very interesting day. I have no patients of my own in the ICU, and I covered someone else's patients on Friday. Tomorrow I am on "short call" meaning all day until 2100 but not overnight, so we'll see if I pick up any admissions then...

For now, a little souvenir, and the truck I will be driving in August when I do my EMS rotation. If you want to see all the photos of the drill, they are on my Facebook page on the following link:


1 comment:

kirkbyj05 said...

That must have been really exciting Veronica. Being up close to such large transporters such as these must have been awesome.   I hope you never have to do it for real though.
Well done you for remembering to take your camera with you too.  I enjoyed my visit with you today.  Smashing pictures!
Take care.
Jeanie xx