Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Scaramedic

Too Many Emergency Teams?

Recommended Posts

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.

First off, you need a lesson in community economics if you think we are taking money away from you. We are a division of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Tell me, even if your area had the money for another rig, what would you do in the instance of say an anthrax or VX gas exposure. The answer is most likely nothing, because most EMS responders and systems still arent trained in Disaster and Terror Response. IMERT provides the medical support teams for Illinois Task Force 1, and urban search and rescue team trained to perform technical rescue on the scale of 9/11 or larger. We provide medical teams for the Illinois Terrorism Task Force and for the sorts of events like Taste of Chicago and the CHicago Air and water show where if a MCE took place, the local agencies, even in chicago, would be overwhelmed. We spend long hours and days training with the Illinois National Guard, The Air National Guard, The USCG and its Auxiliary. We have teams trained to respond to the most horrific of CBRNE events. We are trained an taught to triage a MCI, not with a few people or even thousands, but with potentially 10s of thousands of casualties at stake. We are not a fire department or a private ambulance agencies. We stand in the gap between what agencies like yours with limited resources (again, that has nothing to do with us) can and cannot handle. If there is a MCI in your area, we may also be treating your responder for exposure to whatever terrible thing someone or nature has done.

When the team responded not twice, but three times to NOLA in 2005 it filled vital role that no one else was filling. Fire departments, Law enforcement agencies and other first responders were overwhelmed or had simply deserted their posts altogether.

I am told that as the team worked through the city. residents, now homeless refugees, held up cardboard signs that read "We love you IMERT" and "You helped when no one else would." The affection between the people of NOLA and IMERT is palpable to this day. I would have been honored to serve with them during that deployment. But given the state of the world today, as my commanding officer says, "we will all get the chance to get in the game." Disasters that will simply render local, state and county agencies will come again and likely in ever increasing numbers and yet fire departments and EMS agencies are not fully prepared to deal with anything in the order of magnitude of Katrina. IMERT is. It is what train for. It is the nightmare scenario that we pray will not occur again, but to which we stand ready to respond when called.

If you think that we are draining you of your resources, you just dont have an understanding of how big this picture is. Right now, if I had to be deployed, I would have to quit my day job because there is no legislation in place to guarantee it would be there when I got back. THe legislation has been introduced and awaits the governors signature, but I fear it may be a long time off. I will quit my job if asked to serve, confident that when I return from a deployment, the employers I would want to work with would see the importance of what I do and hire me.

Finally, we are talking apples and oranges here. Your fire department may need more rigs or gear, but if there was a release of VX gas or anthrax spores, would you be able to manage it without massive specialized assistance. I very much doubt it. Are you prepared and equipped to handle an avian flu pandemic? We are. Are you ready to deal with a train crash that injures and kills 100s if not 1000s of people? We are. Do you have the ability to set up a fully functioning field hospital once you touch down and offer casualtys a place to get warm and dry, or cool as the case may be? We do. Can you say with certainty that you are prepared to work an mass casualty event with 33,000 casualties? We have. We are not better. We are just orders of magnitude bigger and better equipped to handle such situations? I dont know where you live, but if a disaster came through your city and wiped out fire and police stations and your public health and safety organizations were rendered inoperable because they are too small or not prepared for the nightmare scenario, you would want all the specialized teams, like IMERT and the DMATs from around the country there. You would need us there. Trust me brother, we are in the same fight. But when you talk about having one rig to cover a huge area with one response rig, you are talking about bringing a knife to a gunfight. We arent taking your money I promise you that. I do not question your comittment or abilities as an emergency responder, but I think that you commitment should be to the people of the community you serve and not to who serves them. We do not come in and take over, my friend. We come in and ask "what do you need from us." We can supply you with medically necessary electricity, water, lighting and personnel that a small department, or even a large one cannot match. We dont think we are better than anyone else, we just know that we are the best at what we do and that is repsond with a capability set appropriate to an MCI whether it is chemical, biological, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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....

The problem here is that you cant even make a concrete argument against IMERT because you have made clear you know nothing about it. We are state and federally funded, and no, we dont get paid. There are two paid members in the entire organization and they are the Commander and Deputy Commander. What would you know about us having background checks or not? I can assure you we do. Do you honestly think that a state would allow people to respond situations like what I have described with out vetting them first? Come on. We are not EMS. We are disaster/terror medical response and work under the auspices of the IDPH, IEMA, the Office of Homeland Security and we serve at the pleasure of the governor of our state and those states who may request our assistance. This is the big leagues. As I said, we dont respond to auto accidents. You need to do some basic research before you start bashing someone who may someday come save your ass.

How Copy?

PS- we are very well taken care of if hurt in LOD and our families are also looked after quite nicely. Thanks for your concern.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to pick but how many major chemical attacks have we had? As far as any other incident if we had the people and equipment we could take care of it while waiting for federal dmat to get here. Again I commend your enthusiasm but I still feel funds would be better served helping those that need help everyday rather than sitting in storage for the what if.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry to pick but how many major chemical attacks have we had? As far as any other incident if we had the people and equipment we could take care of it while waiting for federal dmat to get here. Again I commend your enthusiasm but I still feel funds would be better served helping those that need help everyday rather than sitting in storage for the what if.

Our founding fathers, had no intention of Americans having to rely on the govenment for any services. I strongly belive we rely on these disaster teams too much. We need to be prepared to defend ourselves, and care for ourselves in the instance of an emergency.

Once again, these "ERT's" are only pet projects for senators and repesentatives to show they are actually doing something for their home states. Instead of real work, like ending the war, lowering taxes, or balancing the budget.

You have to wonder, how did America ever make it through WWII, or how did OKC make it through the bombing? We didn't have all these teams then!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem here is that you cant even make a concrete argument against IMERT because you have made clear you know nothing about it. We are state and federally funded, and no, we dont get paid. There are two paid members in the entire organization and they are the Commander and Deputy Commander. What would you know about us having background checks or not? I can assure you we do. Do you honestly think that a state would allow people to respond situations like what I have described with out vetting them first? Come on. We are not EMS. We are disaster/terror medical response and work under the auspices of the IDPH, IEMA, the Office of Homeland Security and we serve at the pleasure of the governor of our state and those states who may request our assistance. This is the big leagues. As I said, we dont respond to auto accidents. You need to do some basic research before you start bashing someone who may someday come save your ass.

How Copy?

PS- we are very well taken care of if hurt in LOD and our families are also looked after quite nicely. Thanks for your concern.

Not trying to argue against anything, I thought I made it clear that I don't know how you operate, hence the question marks....What ever floats your boat, sounds like you buy into the hype....I don't know about it being the "big leagues", if you say so. I'm sure we would all be up a creek without a paddle if it wasn't for your "vollie DMAT"....Good luck with that.

I copy loud and clear, P3 sends.... :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem here is that you cant even make a concrete argument against IMERT because you have made clear you know nothing about it. We are state and federally funded, and no, we dont get paid. There are two paid members in the entire organization and they are the Commander and Deputy Commander. What would you know about us having background checks or not? I can assure you we do. Do you honestly think that a state would allow people to respond situations like what I have described with out vetting them first? Come on. We are not EMS. We are disaster/terror medical response and work under the auspices of the IDPH, IEMA, the Office of Homeland Security and we serve at the pleasure of the governor of our state and those states who may request our assistance. This is the big leagues. As I said, we dont respond to auto accidents. You need to do some basic research before you start bashing someone who may someday come save your ass.

How Copy?

PS- we are very well taken care of if hurt in LOD and our families are also looked after quite nicely. Thanks for your concern.

Not trying to argue against anything, I thought I made it clear that I don't know how you operate, hence the question marks....What ever floats your boat, sounds like you buy into the hype....I don't know about it being the "big leagues", if you say so. I'm sure we would all be up a creek without a paddle if it wasn't for your "vollie DMAT"....Good luck with that.

I copy loud and clear, P3 sends.... :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Much better than warehousing all the equipment.

I cannot even imagine how much equipment is currently warehoused right nowbetween the various "waiting for the big one" response teams. Hell it kinds of reminds of the cold war, everyone preparing and spending tons of money for something that might happen. It never did happen and trillions of dollars were wasted. Maybe that is all the terrorists want us to do is freak out, spend tons of money preparing for an NBC attack and then they'll just fly planes into buildings. Oh crap, they already did that. Do we really know if they even have the means to attack us with NBC's? Why haven't they?

When I went to the big EMS convention in Vegas last year half the floor was some kind of equipment for an NBC attack. Decon trailers, quarantine stretchers, gas masks, gloves, radiation proof socks and jocks. Al Quada has yet to use any kind of NBC weapon, anywhere in the world. Yet we have thousands of cases of Mark I kits in warehouses across the country. Kits that must be administered within the first few minutes to even have a chance of hell in working. So what good is it to have a team 20 minutes away with 10,000 kits. How many Level A suits do they have to get to the patients? Four, five maybe. How many rescuers are going to die rushing into a scene trying to save the lives of dead people?

what would you do in the instance of say an anthrax or VX gas exposure.

Die, just like everyone else. Since when the call first comes in it will come in as one person with a sick child. Then a second caller, then a third, then a fourth. By that time the first unit will be on scene, popping themselves with their first Mark I kit. Quickly they realize they are going to need another one, hopefully they can get to it. Unfortunately they can't, and they become one of the fallen.

The real question is what are you and your team going to do when you arrive 45 minutes after initial exposure? bag the dead? VX is meant to kill in minutes not hours, your team and every other team would be useless, containment at best. It would turn into a military controlled scene very quickly.

Anthrax? So you have tens of thousand of doses of antibiotics at the ready? No. Once again useless. You do, that is what I am talking about, expensive, very expensive. How many agencies do weed need to stockpile Cipro?

IMERT provides the medical support teams for Illinois Task Force 1, and urban search and rescue team trained to perform technical rescue on the scale of 9/11 or larger.

So does DMAT, MRC, Red Cross, The Boy Scouts and even the Brownies are getting into providing aid.

We have teams trained to respond to the most horrific of CBRNE events. We are trained an taught to triage a MCI, not with a few people or even thousands, but with potentially 10s of thousands of casualties at stake.

Triage them? Then what? What do you do with them? Once again how are you any different than DMAT, MRC, etc...

We stand in the gap between what agencies like yours with limited resources...

Wow, that will make a great T-shirt.

When the team responded not twice, but three times to NOLA in 2005 it filled vital role that no one else was filling.

Really, I know a bunch of responders from DMAT that would dispute that.

Disasters that will simply render local, state and county agencies will come again and likely in ever increasing numbers and yet fire departments and EMS agencies are not fully prepared to deal with anything in the order of magnitude of Katrina. IMERT is. It is what train for. It is the nightmare scenario that we pray will not occur again, but to which we stand ready to respond when called.

So is DMAT, MRC, Red Cross, The U.S. Armed Forces.....

I will quit my job if asked to serve...

And leave your agency and the people you serve short handed. Nice.

Finally, we are talking apples and oranges here. Your fire department may need more rigs or gear, but if there was a release of VX gas or anthrax spores, would you be able to manage it without massive specialized assistance. I very much doubt it. Are you prepared and equipped to handle an avian flu pandemic? We are. Are you ready to deal with a train crash that injures and kills 100s if not 1000s of people? We are. Do you have the ability to set up a fully functioning field hospital once you touch down and offer casualtys a place to get warm and dry, or cool as the case may be? We do. Can you say with certainty that you are prepared to work an mass casualty event with 33,000 casualties? We have. We are not better. We are just orders of magnitude bigger and better equipped to handle such situations? I dont know where you live, but if a disaster came through your city and wiped out fire and police stations and your public health and safety organizations were rendered inoperable because they are too small or not prepared for the nightmare scenario, you would want all the specialized teams, like IMERT and the DMATs from around the country there. You would need us there. Trust me brother, we are in the same fight. But when you talk about having one rig to cover a huge area with one response rig, you are talking about bringing a knife to a gunfight. We arent taking your money I promise you that. I do not question your comittment or abilities as an emergency responder, but I think that you commitment should be to the people of the community you serve and not to who serves them. We do not come in and take over, my friend. We come in and ask "what do you need from us." We can supply you with medically necessary electricity, water, lighting and personnel that a small department, or even a large one cannot match. We dont think we are better than anyone else, we just know that we are the best at what we do and that is repsond with a capability set appropriate to an MCI whether it is chemical, biological, etc.

Once again the question is how many teams like yours do we need? How are you different than DMAT or MRC. It's repetition of services that I am questioning, would it make sense to have two fire departments in the same city? Both responding to the same fire and each taking 1/2 of the structure? It might make it easier for the guys fighting the fire but would it make economic sense?

Don't get me wrong I think it's great you want to help, but why not combine forces with DMAT and MRC. Why not have one service instead of three or more all basically doing the same thing?

Peace,

Marty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scaramedic wrote

Hell it kinds of reminds of the cold war, everyone preparing and spending tons of money for something that might happen. It never did happen and trillions of dollars were wasted. Maybe that is all the terrorists want us to do is freak out, spend tons of money preparing for an NBC attack and then they'll just fly planes into buildings. Oh crap, they already did that. Do we really know if they even have the means to attack us with NBC's? Why haven't they?
Isn't that kind of what the "Star Wars" Defense of the Reagan Administration did that bankrupted the USSR?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps we have reached the saturation point. Not everyone can be an emergency "responder". I have serious doubts about the usefulness of the whole community based silliness anyway. When I was in emergency management the feds and state governments were really pushing us to advocate for CERT's. I wasn't sure what the underlying motive on this was either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Scaramedic wrote Isn't that kind of what the "Star Wars" Defense of the Reagan Administration did that bankrupted the USSR?

Yep, victory through financial attrition.

Peace,

Marty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...