Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘First Responders’ Category

Las Vegas’ trie first responders: Volunteers combed the grounds for survivors and carried out the injured. Strangers used belts as makeshift tourniquets to stanch bleeding, and then others sped the wounded to hospitals in the back seats of cars and the beds of pickup trucks.

NY Times

Lessons from Las Vegas: “…..The first step is to expose the skin so you can see where the bleeding is coming from. Use one or both hands to maintain firm, steady pressure directly on the bleeding site. You can also use your knee, if necessary, to maintain the pressure. A second option is to use a bandage or commercial dressing designed to stop bleeding, called a hemostatic dressing, if available, or clothing, to apply firm, steady pressure to the site. If the bleeding persists, place a tourniquet on a limb two to three inches closer to the torso from the bleeding and tighten until the bleeding stops…”

NY Times



Triage in Las Vegas


“…..The injured had been tagged with color-coded stickers on their bodies by a first responder team doing triage. Patients tagged in green had minor injuries. Those with yellow tags had non-life threatening injuries. A red tag meant that the patient had life-threatening injuries and needed to be transported immediately to a hospital. Those tagged in black were dying or expecting to die.

“We had to take the red-tagged patients first,” he says. “But it’s not always that easy. People were begging me to take them because they were in so much pain. One woman grabbed at my ankle and we locked eyes. All she could say was ‘please.’ She had tears all over her face. But she was tagged in yellow, and there were people in red. So I had to say, ‘I’m so sorry. Someone will be back for you soon.’

There was another man who was tagged green sitting next to a yellow,” he continues. “He said, ‘please help my girlfriend,’ but I couldn’t.”

The first patient they took was a woman with a gunshot wound to the chest. “She wasn’t able to breathe,” he says. “She was in really bad condition. We took her to the [ambulance] and to the hospital. Dispatch told us to go right back for more patients.”

He does not know if the woman survived or not…..”

Las Vegas: Dodging bullets, first responders respond to a crisis

NY Times

“……At the medical tent, people lay everywhere. He saw his medical technicians applying pressure to chest and leg wounds, using tourniquets to try to stop the bleeding.

“I saw my personnel checking for pulses, realizing the person did not have a pulse, and we literally had to push the body out of the tent and make room for another patient,” he said.

People Mr. Simpson assumed were family members or friends begged the medical workers to perform CPR. But they were following principles of disaster triage, which, in the most extreme circumstances, call for bypassing those whose hearts have already stopped. So in some cases, family members began CPR themselves…..”

NYC is home to 700,000 Puerto Ricans & what are they doing about Puerto Rico?

NY Times

“…..Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the launch of the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico, and Mayor Bill de Blasio sent emergency workers to the island to provide aid.

There are now more than 140 city personnel on the ground in Puerto Rico.

Among them: New York Task Force One, our urban search and rescue team; workers from the city’s Buildings Department who have expertise in inspections; members of our Police and Fire Departments who specialize in structural collapses and water rescues; and members of both departments’ Hispanic societies…..”



Wilson County, NC & Hurricane Matthew: The Aftermath

Image result for noaa hurricane matthew

By Olivia Neeley
The Wilson Daily Times

  • More than 530 Wilson County residents registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance after Hurricane Matthew
  • The 530-plus individuals FEMA assisted received more than $640,000 disbursement in funds countywide.
  • The 911 Communications Center received 2,500 calls for service over the three-day period during and after Hurricane Matthew.
  • There were roughly 230 water rescues performed during the height of the storm, most of which were vehicles rescues and getting people out of houses that were threatened by water.
  • Two people were also killed in Wilson County as a result of moving water in the roadways. Their vehicles were swept away.


Stop The Bleed Campaign

Bleeding Control Website


Italy: The First Responders

Protezione Civile

Terremoto Italia centrale: le forze in campo

August 28, 2016

Prosegue, nei territori colpiti dal terremoto, l’impegno del Servizio Nazionale della Protezione Civile: sono 6012 le forze dispiegate sul territorio tra gli appartenenti alle diverse strutture operative, ai centri di competenza tecnica scientifica e alle aziende erogatrici di servizi essenziali. A questi si aggiunge tutto il personale delle amministrazioni statali e di quelle delle aree colpite dal sisma, nonché quello delle colonne mobili attivate dalle altre regioni per portare aiuto.

In particolare,

1174 sono le unità dei Vigili del Fuoco,

794 gli appartenenti alle Forze Armate e

980 alle Forze di Polizia, a cui si aggiungono

197 unità di personale della Croce Rossa Italiana,

5 del Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico e

339 uomini e donne delle organizzazioni di volontariato nazionale, nonché

817 del volontariato locale di Lazio, Marche e Umbria e

654 delle colonne mobili proventi da fuori dalle regioni colpite.

Ammonta a un totale di 41 il personale dei diversi centri di competenza tecnica e scientifica; circa 445 unità di personale in campo per le aziende erogatrici dei servizi di luce e gas; 303 per gli operatori di telefonia; circa 120 per la viabilità, 30 per le Ferrovie dello Stato; 15 per il Ministero delle Infrastrutture e Trasporti e 98 per il Dipartimento della Protezione civile. I mezzi di soccorso complessivamente impegnati sul territorio sono circa mille.


France: Almost every attack or attempted attack since the assault on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7, 2015, produced local heroes.

NY Times

“…..There was also Gilles Thévenet, the owner of the High Club, a popular discothèque in Nice that faces the Promenade des Anglais, who swiftly turned his nightclub into a triage center for emergency workers.

Mr. Thévenet was sitting in his office in the back of the building, oblivious to the bloody chaos as the cargo truck careened by, until his security guards rushed in and he ran to the front door. “We heard the weeping, the cries, we saw the crowds,” he said.

“I understood I had to choose…..I decided the first priority was the wounded, to do as much as we could for the emergency responders who were trying to save whomever they could,” he said.

In minutes, the firefighters and first-aid workers began carrying the injured — and the dead — into the club to get them off the promenade, which was thick with running, stumbling, screaming people. Soon, two medical helicopters landed just in front of the disco, where the aid workers performed triage, with the most badly hurt airlifted to hospitals nearby.

Some of Mr. Thévenet’s security staff, who were trained in first aid, worked alongside the firefighters and emergency responders; a room in the club was set aside for the dead…..”



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