EMS response to mass casualty incidents : the critical importance of automatic statewide mutual aid and MCI training
Petrie, Michael G.
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Incidence of natural and man-made disasters are increasing and expanding in scope. While these events may cause mass injuries, the pre-hospital emergency medical services (EMS) community is left out of the preparedness equation by virtue of being underrepresented on planning committees, not privy to disaster training, nor on the receiving end of preparedness funding. Additionally, for many states, outside standard mutual aid agreements a disaster declaration is required prior to other types of medical aid arriving on scene to render assistance creating a gap in response. This thesis answers the following research question: have or how have other states and jurisdictions incorporated their EMS communities in disaster planning and response and what can be learned in order to create this process elsewhere? Two case studies are reviewed to ascertain lessons learned on how other states and communities have incorporated their EMS communities into the disaster planning and response framework. Adopting automatic statewide mutual aid, supported by EMS involvement in incident pre-planning, training and exercises, will allow responders to immediately deploy upon request and close the gap in response resulting in positive outcomes for victims of the incident.
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