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Scaramedic

Too Many Emergency Teams?

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Since the subject of CERT came up I was thinking there seems to be more and more of these teams popping up.

How many medical/disaster teams do we need. CERT, DMAT, Medical Reserve Corp, and The Red Cross to name a few of the larger groups and about a thousand church based ones. Even AMR has it's own Disaster response team. Throw in the National Guard units and state and local resources and it seems like an imminent clusterf*ck to me.

Will this system work?

Did this system work in New Orleans?

Am I the only one that thinks maybe we've gone a little overboard?

Peace,

Marty

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Surely not... where we place all those multiple levels of EMT's?

Seriously, I do not see the need of multiple duplication of services. Unfortunately, this is where we start splitting hairs. If it is a deemed as a federal disaster or local disaster... this makes the difference in responding teams... Personally, such organizations like ARC purpose is different.. each organization has a different role.

R/r 911

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I, personally, do not see the problem with "CERT". It's just like a modern day version of Civilian Defense. There is no doubt that we (EMS) would be overwhelmed in gawd knows what kind of disaster situations that will come about in the future. A little part of me has fear for what man can accomplish and do to itself, so the possibilities are endless. :P

If all of those organizations could work in unison, it would be an excellent system.

Until FEMA comes in to screw it all up. :wink:

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If all of those organizations could work in unison, it would be an excellent system.

"If", that is the most profound statement you have ever made :wink: . There is no way all these groups will ever work together. They all want the glory. They are all in competition for state and federal money.

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If they're privately funded, get as many as you can. Like they said in the other thread, a lot of people probably aren't going to be showing up because of their own situation/family not being stabilized yet. Also, each area seems to have a different kind of team...and able to respond at different stages of the emergency. Some teams are specific to a very small area, the city has enough money to not have to count on countywide or national teams to reach them (smart).

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Disclaimer: I speak now, mostly on speculation, not known facts.

In the event of "The Big One," local folks will be the first to respond, even if it is just muscle power to lift debris off neighbors trapped next door, or down the street. They are already in the neighborhood. Then, local agencies will respond in, then state/provence, then federal/national.

Distance will usually decide how fast agencies outside the affected area will be mobilized, or arrive on the scene.

Yes, it will be chaotic, with freelancing EMTs operating out of their car trunks while awaiting news of where a command post has been set up, if one has been set up.

Hell, I was operating on the scene of American Airlines Flight 587's crash for an hour until I was told where the command post was, and checked in. (Incident: 11-12-2007, A half mile from my house. Response: Off Duty, with equipment normally carried in my van)

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In a disaster or large-scale event, those personnel from groups like CERT or other local ERTs can be assigned to someone like a paramedic for a medical team.

Imagine you have a large tornado hit a populated area (say a smaller town with only a few ambulances on duty). Responding ERT personnel can be assigned to teams with a local EMT/FF/Paramedic and be utilized for more medical manpower.

Most people forget that in an event where multiple agencies come together, you can mix personnel (remember ICS?).

We had a plane crash drill not too long ago and one of the things we realized was it would be very effective to take some of the responding EMTs/Paras and give them a small team of American Airlines ERT personnel (since they are already at the airport for a given event and trained in first aid and CPR) to maximize the ability to treat and move patients to the transport area.

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Here is why us "ERT" types are around. We respond when local teams have become overwhelmed and federal response is long in coming. The team on which I am proud to serve is four hours from deploy orders to "wheels up." We are a civilian MASH. During a recent ice storm in a southern county of Illinois, IMERT responded because the power to the counties only hospital had been knocked out and their emergency power couldnt be brought on line. So IMERT responded and set up a field hospital to take patients that were on life support, patients that had just been discharged but need at home care were brought in and IMERT coordinated the evac or other types of patients. We have equipment and gear that so far only the military is using. And yes we can and do work seamlessly with other agencies and yes, though i was not with them, the team performed miraculously in NOLA in '05 and were cited by the President for their work. 4 hour deploy time. National Guard is 72 and FEMA is when we get there. You tell me if we are necessary and worth what we cost.

IMERT is the first team of its kind in the country. Eight other states are modelling their teams on ours. We are different than a DMAT and we arent a local CERT, though both are valuable assets.

If ever there was a group dedicated to the ideal "That others may live" its IMERT. If youre a resident of Illinois and have training/cert in commo, logistics, medical, transport, safety, nursing, dentistry, allied health and even veterinary medicine, give IMERT a call. I think you will be happy with what you find.

How Copy?

PS- I am not bashing FEMA, or the NG or ANG. We work with them regularly in training and actuals. We just work differently than they do.

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Well the DMAT thing I get, its a paid gig by the feds, but IMERT? From what I can tell its a volunteer organization, with no recourse for providing you or your family with compensation if you get hurt or worse. Who funds it? Does it compete for funds with other organizations, i.e DMAT? It sounds like DMAT but without the paycheck or federal background check....maybe its just me....

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Well basic I commend your excitement. I do think the funds for your and other similar state and federal funded groups would be better spent helping areas that do not have proper staffing and equipment to improve care. The citys if all the gov and private taxis (so called ambulances ) would have an occasional mutual aid meeting could be prepared for disasters in there area. Yet in my area with 3000+ square miles with one ambulance to take care of it has no help. Funds could be used to hire people and buy equipment for areas such as ours. This equipment and people would stay sharp on a day to day basis, but then if a disaster they could respond. Much better than warehousing all the equipment.

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