Preparation and Response

Preparation and Response

Apr 16, 2013

First of all I want to send out thoughts and prayers to everyone involved in yesterday’s explosion at the Boston Marathon.  It is a shame that we live in a world where we even have to deal with these incredibly tragic events, however, they also show the resilience of the American people.  We will recover, and we will overcome.

In the wake of yesterday’s tragedy one thing I think everyone needs to realize is how lucky Boston is to have the men and women of Boston EMS caring for the people of their city.  In the days leading up to the Marathon, the Boston EMS Twitter was extremely active talking about the immense amount of preparation leading up to Monday morning.  From the looks of it they were ready for almost anything.  And kudos to Boston EMS for sharing that fact with the world.

Twitter post from Boston EMS from this past weekend.

Twitter post from Boston EMS from this past weekend.

If nothing else, those of us in the EMS community need to walk away from this with recognition of how important preplanning is.  None of us should ever take for granted our own personal safety or the safety of any event that we cover.  No one should ever utter the words, “that will never happen here.”  Instead, take the extra time to draw up a detailed plan.  Know your staging areas, know your egress routes, and make sure that every single provider involved is aware of them as well.

Another thing that needs to be pointed out that I think many people not involved in public safety lose sight of rather quickly is while this large response was going on in Copley Square the rest of Boston was still calling 9-1-1.  Boston EMS, Fire, and Police were just as busy as they were on Sunday, and just as busy as they will be today.  In my eyes, that is one of the most remarkable things about incidents like this.  Not only does the public safety community step up to deal with a major crisis at hand, they also continue to handle those routine emergencies that so frequently flood communities.

 “Because of the rapid prehospital response, many lives were able to be saved.” Dr. George Velmahos Chief of Trauma Surgery Mass General Hospital.

“Because of the rapid prehospital response, many lives were able to be saved.” Dr. George Velmahos Chief of Trauma Surgery Mass General Hospital.

While watching the news, I saw a number of different ambulances down at that scene: Cataldo, Lifeline, McCabe, AMR, and Professional just to name a few.  In addition to that, there were a number of EMT’s and paramedics who volunteered their time to staff aid tents on the marathon route.  Some of those people were friends, and former partners of mine.  I cannot say how proud I am of all of you, and more importantly how happy I am that you all made it home safe.

The officials at this morning’s press conference summed it up best when they said that if it was not for the response of the responders at the scene and the staff at Boston’s hospitals, the loss of life would have been much more significant.

Thanks to each and every one of you and all that you have done, and will continue to do.

  • Railrob

    Scott, when I was reviewing the tapes of the radio transmissions from yesterday I found there is at 10-11 minutes into the incident a BPD Superintendent ordering staff to start reporting updates to social media. Very good thinking there.