On January 26, 2013, a tragic incident occurred in St. Mary Parish, in the area of Charenton. A man fired at his neighbor and then set his residence on fire. First responders approached the site only to find themselves in the line of fire. One police officer was killed in the incident and two deputies were seriously injured. Their colleagues brought them to Franklin Foundation Hospital where their injuries were evaluated; they were stabilized, and prepared for transport to larger facilities for the specialties they required. LERN was critical in making this happen. The LERN Call Center identified exactly at which facilities the deputies would be best served. Within what seemed like minutes, two helicopters landed on the Franklin Foundation Hospital helicopter pad to transport these individuals to the hospitals and care they required.
LERN proved itself that day, and today, those individuals are doing well. Because of LERN, Franklin Foundation’s staff (nurses, respiratory therapists, lab technicians, etc.) participated in courses for managing trauma situations, and some of our nurses had more advanced training in this area. Franklin Foundation Hospital had a lot to be proud of that day. The entire hospital staff came to the aide of those officers. It is my opinion that because of LERN, these individuals are doing as well as they are.
We must be able to support our first responders, whether they are police, firefighters or ambulance personnel. Time is of the essence in many medical emergencies. Please do what you can to be sure LERN continues to be funded – this benefits the people of Louisiana.
Donna Tesi, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S
Attending Surgeon at Franklin Foundation Hospital
Vice Chair of Region 3 LERN Commission
It is Acadian Ambulance’s protocol to critique its response to mass casualty incidents. All MCIs require multiple units and crews, an incident command post, a triage area, resource coordination and clear communications. After an MCI , we will investigate the challenges faced in each area so we can make improvements where they might be needed. This process has been invaluable for us, and realized it would be a great training tool for all of our medics.
In December 2012, Acadian, along with LERN, created an annual MCI Boot camp to allow medics to run a scenario in “real-time.” The objectives were to establish incident command, foster proper communication between agencies, and appropriately delegate and execute tasks. We enlisted the help of our local Lafayette City Marshalls to play their usual part, along with local volunteer firefighters. In addition, we had actual LERN communicators take the call of the medics from the mock scene.
What we’ve practiced has paid off.
After the boot camp, we responded to an MCI involving three cars and seven patients in an area the size of a football field. The first unit on scene established incident command and contacted LERN. The second unit arrived, was assigned a task by the incident command, and immediately responded in a teamwork oriented fashion. The third and fourth units were also given tasks to execute when they arrived on scene. After transporting six patients in four units from this significant collision, we found the scene times all averaged less than six minutes.
This is ideal patient care for significant traumatic incidents in our community.
John L. Witt III, EMT-P, CCP
Quality Improvement Coordinator
Acadian Ambulance Service