Columns, Commentary, Exclusives, Training

Where in the World of EMS is A.J. Heightman?

Photos by JEMS Editor Emeritus A.J. Heightman.

A.J. and a team of instructors have been in rural Pennsylvania the last six days conducting specialized Tuscarora Tunnel MCI classes.

It was conducted between Sept. 7 to Sept. 10, in a rural area of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, 50 miles west of Harrisburg, Pa., (between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh).

The five-year project will change the traffic flow from four-lanes of one-directional travel (east and west), to bi-directional traffic in one tunnel tube at a time for the next five-years as each side is rebuilt.

A.J. and his team of EMS instructors taught 200 Turnpike employees, Tuscarora Tunnel employees and supervisors, as well as PA State Police officers, helicopter officials, Turnpike and County Communication Center staff, construction employees and engineers; and local fire and EMS teams, how to manage mass casualty incidents that occur in the rural, hard-to-serve area.

Many of the student participants had limited EMS and Incident Command training, so the classes trained attendees how to set up and begin care and MCI practices until EMS, fire, and rescue crews could arrive (estimated at 20 to 45 minutes in some areas, duo to the tunnel’s remote, mountain location).