More than 15 emergency medical services (EMS) agencies from throughout the Fox Valley area are now better equipped to handle mass shooting scenarios.
Agencies recently received emergency response kits especially designed for managing the immediate medical needs of shooting victims. The agencies and Elgin, Ill.-based Advocate Sherman Hospital formed the Northern Illinois Casualty Response Task Force to develop the mass trauma bags as part of a larger plan to create standardized first responder procedures and tools to quickly and effectively respond to a mass shooting.
“In a worst-case scenario such as a mass shooting, it’s critical every responding agency is on the same page to attend to victims and preserve life on the scene,” said Justin Williams, manager of Emergency Medical Services at Advocate Sherman Hospital. “Whether you’re a police officer, firefighter or civilian, we want you to know how to provide basic emergency medical attention in those critical minutes until professional help arrives.”
Judson University in Elgin, who is part of the task force, is the first academic institution to put this plan in place. Most classrooms are equipped with the kits, and over 70 faculty members, students and staff have been trained on how to use them. Training for other students and the larger community is in the works.
The goal is for agencies to offer the training, based off of the Hartford Consensus, in their own communities to all residents, with a special focus on training school teachers and administrators.