EMTs Hear Lessons from No. Illinois University Campus


 
 

Patti Welander | | Thursday, May 22, 2008


BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- To this day, there are times when DeKalb Fire Department Battalion Chief Greg Hoyle can t believe the Feb. 14 shooting happened on the Northern Illinois University campus.

"But, it did, and it is not a matter of if this will happen again, but where and when," Hoyle told local emergency medical technicians Wednesday during a presentation sponsored by the McLean County Area Emergency Medical Services System.

Knowing such tragedies will happen, the DeKalb Fire Department shares what it has learned, hoping others will be better prepared, he said.

Hoyle was driving around the NIU campus the afternoon of Feb. 14 when three "traumatized students jumped on my vehicle and told me there was a shooting at Cole Hall."

On Feb. 14, former NIU student Steven Kazmierczak fired a shotgun and two handguns at students in a lecture hall in Cole Hall, killing five students and wounding 18 others before killing himself. Hundreds fled.

Hoyle radioed the information to his captain, Eric Hicks, and the fire department responded immediately to the incident.

Hoyle told the group about the difficulties of being the incident commander that day. The most difficult thing was managing different staff in different buildings, which was necessary because victims ran or were carried by friends to different locations around campus.

Hicks was in charge of triage at Cole Hall, and he told the group of the chaos there. Students had left their belongings behind when they fled, making it more difficult to verify the names of the patients who could not speak.

And the fire alarm sounded loudly in the building, making it difficult to talk to fellow responders.

KishHealth System EMS System Coordinator Joe Herrmann also shared the lessons Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb learned about managing calls from family and media and interacting with ambulance services that don t normally work with their hospital.

"All in all, though, things fell into place well," Hoyle said. "Everyone had their A game on that day."

Hoyle and his fellow speakers credited their training exercises for part of their success.

Only a few months before, they had conducted a mass casualty drill at the campus. Many of those on duty on Feb. 14 were ones who had key roles in that drill.

Also critical was the ability of all of the agencies involved to work together.

"Without the other agencies, we wouldn t have made it through the day," said Hicks.

After the presentation, Greg Scott, director of the McLean County Area EMS System, said he hoped the presentation reinforced the messages his agency stresses: the need for training, working together, and having plans in place.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Provider Wellness and Safety, WMD and Terrorism

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Mechanical CPR is Producing Resuscitation Results Beyond Expectations

Discover why clinical studies are finding mechanical CPR just as effective as optimally-performed CPR.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

New York First Responders Take Extraordinary Steps to Help Residents

Snow causes fire and EMS crews to go beyond call of duty.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Raw Video: Explosion and Fire at California Business

Over a dozen hurt in Santa Paula blaze.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Four Workers Killed at Texas Chemical Plant

Five employees exposed to methyl mercaptan in La Porte.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Worker Killed in North Carolina Bridge Collapse

A fatal construction site collapse occurred in Wake County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Plane Crashes into Chicago Home

Pilot reported engine trouble after takeoff.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Switzerland Landslide Kills Two, Injures Four

Slide hits residential building near Lugano.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

World Trade Center Rescue

Technical rescue work is done at nation’s tallest skyscraper.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >