A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS), and well known for his work in the area of EMS management and mass casualty incident (MCI) management, presented on the critical actions necessary during the first 30 minutes of an MCI.
A.J. stressed the need for early set up of command, the use of designated radio channels to control and direct incoming units and use separate channels for on scene command functions, ambulance staging and patient reports from the transportation branch to the receiving hospitals.
He also stressed the need for early staging of incoming ambulances near the transportation area and the need to have everyone triage tagged and accounted for before they leave the scene.
Some additional key points A.J. made were:
- The need for a safety officer to handle scene safety aspects, security concerns and hazard control.
- The roles and responsibilities of EMS branch officers.
- How to present initial and follow-up EMS/MCI radio reports.
- How to establish, designate and staff patient treatment areas.
- Ways to deploy colored tarps/salvage covers to define/control treatment sectors.
- How to efficiently transport patients from an incident scene on a priority basis.
How to prepare and use a post-incident critique as a learning experience.