EMS World

FEB 2017

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30 FEBRUARY 2017 | EMSWORLD.com of the victory-induced chaos, a crackling radio transmission came from command: "All EMS units from command, Villanova has won. Villanova has won." It didn't take long for triage to become busy. As celebrations escalated, so did the injuries: Intoxicated patients were steadily delivered to the field hospital throughout the night, and head laceration after head lac - eration (caused by glass bottles haphazardly tossed around) was dropped off, followed by an influx of over a dozen patients suffering OC spray to the eyes. Although I wished I could be outside wit- nessing the mayhem firsthand, I kept a close eye on public safety security cameras and keenly listened to the radio for any reports of potential incidents or patients. Through the lens of a security camera, I learned of the large fire in the quad, where tall flames enveloped a couch and two young saplings that had been uprooted by intoxicated students. In addition, students lit several small fires across campus, covered trees with toilet paper and shattered windows. Mobs of students, exhilarated from our buzzer- beating victory, ran from one end of campus to the other end and back again. Streets were shut down and barricades erected around the major campus intersection in hopes of protecting and containing the crowd. As a triage officer I had the responsibil- ity of overseeing patient intake and care. It was my duty to listen to the radio for incoming patients, alert the triage staff of imminent arrivals, send an EMT out to the ambulance to receive each patient, and determine which bed the patient would go to. Beds were numbered 1–11 from right to left, with bed No. 1 reserved for the most minor injuries and bed No. 11 set aside for the more severe injuries. Based on the transfer-of-care report, I decided which bed the patient was to go to and kept track of the time the patient arrived, the interventions nurses and PAs performed, and when the patient was discharged or transferred from the field hospital. When a patient needed transport, I coordinated with a fellow triage member whose job was to communicate with local hospitals and receive updates on availability. After being noti- fied which hospital to transfer to, I would then determine ALS vs. BLS, contact command for the most available transport crew, and summon the crew to transport the patient. It wasn't until 3:30 a.m. (we had been working since 5 p.m.) that I passed the reins to my fellow triage officer and joined a roaming crew. The early morning, dark with a cold wind whipping around buildings, was marked by the numbing sound of several helicopters, both news and police, hovering above campus. As I walked through the remaining crowds, I saw the charred remnants of sofa springs, the victory ban- ners made from bedsheets haphazardly strung from dorm windows, and numerous clusters of public safety personnel ranging from transit police and firefighters to the mounted state police and FBI. I watched in awe as the state police on horseback split the crowds like schools of fish, never once quelling the party-like atmosphere. While standing among the ranks of law enforcement officers, my fellow crew members and I were dispatched to a mosh pit-like huddle of students celebrating in the intersection dividing Main Campus from South Campus. As we carefully picked our way through the celebrants, looking desperately for our patient, a bloodied hand gripped my high-visibility jacket. "Help me. You're EMS, right? Please help me." This patient had a head laceration that warranted a trip to the field hospital for further evaluation, so we contacted command to dispatch another roaming crew for the original subject while we escorted this unexpected patient to triage. Looking Back All VEMS members were eventually dispatched back to triage to assist with the final few patients and begin the process of cleaning and dismantling the field hospital. After 12 hours of hard work, excitement and adrenaline, the VEMS captain made the final radio transmission declaring triage closed. As I look back on that night, I recall standing in triage, my sweaty palms grasping the radio, eyes glued to the television monitor, await- For More Information Circle 25 on Reader Service Card 888-458-6546 3121 Millers Lane Louisville, KY 40216 Tel: 502-775-8303 Fax: 502-772-0548 S A F E T Y A P P L I A N C E C O M P A N Y www.junkinsafety.com PROUDLY MANUFAC TURED IN THE USA JSA-400 Aluminum Break-Apart Stretcher Specifications Dimensions: 66 ¼" L x 17 ½" W x 2 5⁄8" H Folded Length: 49 ½" Folded Depth: 3 ½" Adjustable to: 80" Load Capacity: 400 lbs. Shipping Weight: 21 ½ lbs. Designed to gently maneuver stretcher under patient without rolling or lifting. The center of the Junkin Aluminum Break-Apart Stretcher can be opened to allow the patient to be X-rayed while secured on the stretcher. Features sturdy, lightweight aluminum construction with an adjustable length and three patient restraint straps. Folds for easy storing and separates in half during application and removal. JSA-400 Remnants of the large fire in the quad

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