Author Archive

Emergency Medical Services at a Mass Casualty Incident

Standard operating procedures are by definition not enough when EMS responders are called to the scene of a mass-casualty incident. Extraordinary and/or non-standard procedures are not only permitted, therefore, but frequently mandatory.

Citizen-Participation Drills: Beyond Duck and Cover

With fire-prevention programs serving as an example, there is much that “everyday citizens” can learn about protecting themselves and their families in a variety of emergency situations. The most important lesson is learning one’s own limitations.

Resources in Waiting: EMS Task Forces

“Just in Case” has been trumped by “Just in Time.” One result is that there is no surge capability that emergency managers can call on in times of major incidents. Unless, of course, an EMS Task Force is waiting in the wings.

The Well-Planned Use of Citizen Volunteers

Many first-responder agencies routinely use “4×4 volunteers” to help out in hazardous-weather situations and other emergencies. This solution to community problems must be handled with care and requires careful planning by state/local decision makers.

The Either/Or Dilemma: Hard Choices Ahead in Materials Management

Preparing for an emergency is like packing for a long trip: Focus on the essentials first, and always consider the possibility of a worst-case scenario. Unfortunately, some communities and hospitals are making cost reductions their highest priority.

Personnel Staffing in Times of Disaster

Three modes of operation, two of which might strain the trained EMS personnel resources immediately available but would not overwhelm them. Preparing for the third mode, a sudden mass-casualty scenario, must be done carefully and thoughtfully.

IEDs, RDDs, and Other Improvised Hazards

When it seems likely that explosives have been used in a mass-casualty incident or “event,” the personnel responding must remember that additional, and bigger, explosions might soon follow and that they, the first responders, may be the target.

The EMS Community Looks to the Future

The era of “us versus them” is over. In times of disasters affecting the entire local population, all private-sector as well as public agencies must pool their resources in a common effort.

CBRNE Weapons – What’s in a Name?

A primer for the everyday citizen: The vocabulary of terror grows in both size and scope as modern technology makes weapons of mass destruction cheaper, deadlier, and more universally available.

Needed: A National EMS Protocol

When medical protocols vary from state to state, the result – in a multi-state disaster – could be a towering Babel of confusion. The obvious solution – the writing and promulgation of national EMS guidelines.


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Article Out Loud – Incident Management – The Whataburger Way

The Whataburger Command Center team uses a hybrid form of the Incident Command System when an unexpected event threatens the company’s stability, reputation, or operations. The main goal is to minimize damages and ensure the company’s survival and quick recovery.


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