Emergency Medical Services in Mass Casualty
Emergency medical services or simply EMS refers to an emergency service system that provides out-of-hospital medical care and transportation to ultimate care center as well as other remedial transportation for patients with illnesses and injuries (NHTSA n.d). Extraordinary efforts are required for Mass Casualty Incidents (MCIs) from local rescue team and EMS agencies. Although the attacks last for a few minutes, incidents and response actions can play out for extended durations. Over the last years, attempts to advance vigilance in the healthcare system have been made. Several states, healthcare organizations and systems have come up with preparedness plans which include improving surge competence in order to facilitate response to emergency cases.
When a mass casualty incident occurs, EMS agencies together with healthcare providers engage in operations of supplying resources instantaneously, reducing deaths by providing remedial treatments out-of-the hospital and organizing field activities as well as medical services with the existing medical facilities and with shore up services and resources. The emergency medical services policy gives the role of providing the necessary emergency services to these agencies and therefore they should be informed about definite or imminent events within the shortest time possible in order to start preparedness as well as response activities the soonest time possible.
There are considerable efforts that are being put across the state with an aim of advancing health systems’ aptitude in order to take appropriate actions if terrorists strike as well as in the event of other public emergencies. The focus of much of this preparation is on escalating surge capability among the affected structures of delivery via swift mobilization and deployment of more resources from regional, national, state and community levels to the places that have been affected.
For EMS strategy to be carried out effectively, the involved hospitals, health centers as well as the medical physicians in the private sector ought to sacrifice autonomy and jurisdictional remedial statutes in order to function as a single, united structure. Remedial measures may be required for successful reduction of morbidity and transience during disastrous events. During emergencies, hospitals in individual areas as well as the associated centers can be linked to an Incident Command System (ICS) of the community. This forms a unified command structure (Department of Defense, 2001).
The use of ICS enhances structural management of the event and therefore responders as well as operators in the incident’s infrastructure should use it. For planning to be efficient, common goals, assessment, vital reviews and continuous practice are required. Harmonization, planning, sharing and communication of information should be mutual or practiced daily by the first responders to the event. The agencies should cooperate in routine calls frequently and daily providing interagency association, reducing complexity and enhancing organization and communication. The agencies should be dedicated to planning and organizing their activities before such events occur (FEMA, 2013).
EMS ambition and remedial response that has been established by specialists to save more lives is the main issue. There is a common agreement that this goal can only be attained if medical care and EMS are provided in a manner that differs from care principles that are applied in normal conditions. Most preparation plans do not address this issue comprehensively (Wackerle, 1991).
A common approval by experts is that unified tools and approach for public communication in terms of mass casualty’s danger and response by the medical care are important. The challenging part is designing credible messages which will be perceived important and relevant by the public immediately without causing unnecessary alarm. That kind of a strategy would serve as an anticipatory guidance. Various stakeholders should be involved in developing messages.
Department of Defense, (2001). A mass casualty care strategy for biological terrorism incidents. Preparedness Program: Department of Defense.
FEMA, (September 2013). Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department operational considerations and guide for Active Shooter and Mass Casualty Incidents. U.S Fire Administration.
NHTSA (n.d). What Is EMS? Retrieved on December 16, 2013 from http://www.ems.gov/whatisEMS.htm
Wackerle, J. (1991). Disaster planning and response.” N Eng J Med 324:815-21.