President's Speech Interrupted By Mass Illness

The majority of the people being tended to were suffering from exhaustion and dehydration.

 

 
 
 

MARK BRADY, Prince George's County Fire and EMS Department | | Friday, October 8, 2010

GALLERIES

Multimedia Thumb

President Obama Dispatches EMS From Podium

Numerous people fell ill during the event.
More >



VIDEOS

Multimedia Thumb

Obama Campaign Speech EMS

38 people fell ill and were evaluated.
more >





President Barack Obama made an appearance today on the campus of Bowie State University in Bowie, Prince George’s County, MD. During his speech he paused twice to direct Firefighter/Medics to locations near the front of the stage where supporters had fallen ill. Fire/EMS personnel were quick to respond through the large crowd, with the assistance of the Secret Service, to initiate care. This scenario, minus the dispatcher, occurred constantly through the event.

It was a breezy 71 degrees and no humidity to speak of. The sun was bright and was bearing down on the thousands of supporters attending the rally where the President was speaking. Attendees showed up many hours earlier and stood in line as they waited to pass through security check points and then were led into the rally area where they stood shoulder-to-shoulder waiting for the event to start.

At about 1:45 pm, the Fire/EMS Department’s Special Events Coordinator, Fire Major Corey Smedley, was notified simultaneously by campus security and Secret Service of a person down near the media area. From there on reports of sick and fainting people flowed in. The basic life support ambulances assigned to standby during the Presidents visit were quickly overwhelmed by the number of people requesting assistance. The crew from Engine 819, on standby in the parking lot, was called in to assist and immediately went to work treating patients. The Fire/EMS crews were in constant motion and additional resources including 2 BLS ambulances and a Paramedic Supervisor were called to the scene.

It was quickly determined that the majority of the people being tended to were suffering from exhaustion and dehydration. A triage area was established in the University gymnasium providing a cool climate in a large empty building immediately adjacent to the rally area. As a precaution, the Department’s Medical Ambulance Bus and Haz-Mat Team were called to the scene in the event their personnel and equipment were needed. These extra units staged in a nearby parking lot and released when the rally came to an end around 4:00 pm.

Throughout the 2 ½ hour period there was a steady flow of patients evaluated and treated in the triage area or on the campus grounds. A large percentage of the patients were senior citizens and provided with hydration, oxygen and allowed to rest in the cool environment. Paramedics monitored the patients and when their vital signs were in an acceptable range were released after declining transport to a medical facility. Two patients were transported to area hospitals by ambulance with more serious illnesses and 36 patients were evaluated and treated in the triage area and released.

A total of 18 Fire/EMS personnel operated on the scene.



Related Links:




Obama Campaign Speech EMS

President Obama Dispatches EMS From Podium

Gallery 1

President Obama Dispatches EMS From Podium

President Obama Dispatches PGFD Firefighter/Medics from podium at an event in Bowie, MD. (Chief PIO Mark Brady photo)


Gallery 1

President Obama Dispatches EMS From Podium

Firefighter/Medics tend to a patient in the triage area. (Chief PIO Mark Brady photo)


Gallery 1

President Obama Dispatches EMS From Podium

Some patients required a stretcher to make it into the gym for treatment. (Chief PIO Mark Brady photo)


Gallery 1

President Obama Dispatches EMS From Podium

Firefighter/Medics were in constant motion for 2 1/2 hours. (Chief PIO Mark Brady photo)


Gallery 1

President Obama Dispatches EMS From Podium

Paramedic Captain Danny Hughes and Major Corey Smedley discuss operations. (Chief PIO Mark Brady photo)


Gallery 1

President Obama Dispatches EMS From Podium

Triage area inside of gym. (Chief PIO Mark Brady photo)



Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, triage, President Obama, mass casualty

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Community Paramedicine Expanding in Maine

Eight departments receive a grant for use towards the new program.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Ambulance, Fire Engine Approved for Illinois Department

Officials approve new purchases for Bloomington.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Alabama Officials Worry over Ambulance Coverage

County officials work to find best solution.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Car Crashes into Texas Ambulance

Ambulance hit while responding to a call.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

California Beach Lightning Strike MCI

More than a dozen injured in Venice Beach lighting strike.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >