Recognizing EMS Pioneers
This month, we feature comments from readers on an article in the March issue, “Reviving Freedom House: How the storied ambulance company has been reborn” by Megan Corry, MA, EMT-P; Casey Keyes, BA, NREMT-B and David Page, MS, NREMT-P. A salute to the members of Freedom House—both founding and current—was presented in a video presentation during the opening key note of the 2013 EMS Today Conference & Exposition in Washington, D.C. Several of the original members were present and received a standing ovation from the audience on being recognized for outstanding contributions to the Freedom House team, seen as pioneers who paved the way for serving countless lives across the country.
Dr. Peter Safar was truly a visionary and the world may never know how many lives he has saved through his work and the work of this project but those who had the honor to know him were truly blessed!
Wow. Thank you for sharing. Sad that this is the first I’ve heard of this huge part of our history.
Today, we worry about scene safety ... they had none. God bless them, and I’m grateful for their contributions to the profession I now serve in. Here’s to you, Freedom House!
From Our Facebook Audience
The final scenario for this year’s JEMS Games at the 2013 EMS Today Conference & Exhibition was an assassination attempt on the JEMS Games president and vice president that included two shooting victims, one pediatric hypoglycemic seizure and one acute myocardial infarction with cardiac arrest and resuscitation. As the games were being played, Facebook fans responded to the question: “How would you do in a high-profile mass shooting situation?”
Kathi S.: Head held high with emotions in check.
Jason C.: As someone in the crowd, I grew up in Detroit and I was in the army, so shootings don’t rattle me too much. As a responder, I was involved with the Fort Hood shooting. I was still a medic student at the time. Just do the best you can, remember your training and follow instructions.
Mark K.: Our department has been involved in two real-time drills involving students, “shooters,” police and rescue. We really had it down to a science during the second drill.
Isaac W.: I don’t think the difficulty exists until after the incident is over. Most of us tolerate the high stress demands of the job fairly well. The unseen, long lasting effects of such a response set in deeper with time.
Philip B.: I’d fall back on my training—with a prayer it would be good enough. I’d focus on my job, not the feelings that would overwhelm me. I’d do what needed to be done. It’s the time after that I’d let my “self” come out. Back in the barn, I’d begin the process of talking with my crew. I’d call in EAP to help us get the humanness out that we submerged at the event. I’d follow up with my crew and keep it all alive—all the sensations: visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory—until the energy was drained. I’d work on resolving any PTSD until my head and heart were again clear … at least I hope so.
Morgan K.: I’ve never been in that situation so I honestly can’t say what I would do. However I’d like to think I’d be able to do what needs to be done.
Penny F.: I took training on this and it was scary then. I guess I would do what had to get done and then fall apart!
Janis L.: Safety first. Don’t get caught up in tunnel-visioning on one patient or a particular group, and don’t overwhelm one hospital with all of the patients.
Michael M.: I know I would do my best. I’d have to push through my emotions and deal with the task at hand. My skills and adrenaline would take over. Considering I’ve never responded to a situation like, that’s all I can be sure of at this point.
David E.: I can tell you, having actually worked a mass shooting, there isn’t much to think about. The cops call “multiple victims.” Every available ambulance rolls, you get there, load someone and run to the hospital. There isn’t on scene medical control, there aren’t people laying on color coded triage tarps. You leave the dead ones where they lay and load and go the living. It happens very fast.