EMTs Hear Lessons from No. Illinois University Campus


 
 

Patti Welander | | Friday, May 23, 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 ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Shooting, EMS Audio

Edited audio from the Parliament Hill incident.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Illinois Ambulance Service on Chopping Block

Peoria Heights EMS depends on property tax vote.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters, Medics Drill for Ebola

Lexington firefighters and medics prepare for possible patients.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Mid-South EMTs Prepare for Ebola

Mid-South EMTs are certified for service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Shooting Incident

Solider is shot by gunman at national memorial in Ottawa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS Tailgating

Rigs converted for football.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

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

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


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

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


More Product Videos >