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Old 02-28-2013, 04:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA, USA
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Default Having a plan sure helps

I wrote about the faith based disaster/emergency preparedness conference we had a few weeks ago at our church. This past Sunday we were put to the test. Just an example of how smoothly things can go when a community has a plan and lots of folks are willing to work that plan.


In one part of the building, between the worship area and the music rehearsal area, a young lady, a member of the orchestra returning her instrument to storage, had an epileptic seizure and passed out in a small hallway. Since this was after the 2nd service the lights had been turned out as no one had any further business back there at that point. The type of seizure she had is the "passive" type, where the victim simply passes out and stays out, no thrashing about.

Mean while, in the lobby of the building, an elderly lady was leaving the building when her hip popped out of joint and she went down hard and in pain.


We have a central point of contact person who's job it is to coordinate contact with county EMS. He called 911, identified himself and requested paramedics to the lobby area of the building. From prior walk throughs, the EMS people know the general layout of the building. The 1st ambulance is now rolling.

Now the parents of the "missing" young lady are concerned as she hasn't met up with them and they can't find her. After each use of the buildings, a team of men "sweep" the building, turning out lights, checking and locking up classrooms and exterior doors, gently herding stragglers towards home. These teams were notified by business band radio to look for the missing young lady and quickly found her.

Our EMS POC again called 911 and asked for a 2nd ambulance to respond to the north end of the building, reconfirming to EMS this was indeed a 2nd victim, and dispatched men to make sure the doors were unlocked and someone could lead EMS to the epilepsy victim.

Our parking lot workers, who also have radios, made room for the EMS responders.

What worked:

Our single point of contact with EMS made sure they were contacted once, and only once, about each situation.
EMS understood we had 2 victims in two locations. From prior contact EMS has surveyed our campus and know exactly were the lobby area was, and had a general sense of where the music area was.
Our sweep and lockup team, who clear the building of people and then lock up the exit doors (among other things) responded quickly when asked, and followed their instructions exactly.


We had a POC with our EMS. They know each other face to face.
EMS had toured the buildings and get a refresher periodically.
We had radio contact with the sweep team (and a bunch of other people, too)

Because we had a plan, or a least some idea what to do, the response came off quickly and smoothly with minimal disruption. The victims and their families received assistance and comfort as soon as possible.

All in all, I thought we did pretty good.

KU4OJ "Wade" Ships Captain, CFO, Chief Engineer
KG4DQQ "Kathy" 1st Officer, Navigator, Best Friend
2007 F-150 SuperCab - 2009 Rockwood 8280SS
Lot's of mostly Kenwood stuff

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Old 02-28-2013, 04:56 PM   #2
Carl, nn5i
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
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To me it sounds like you did much better than "pretty good". Much better. Much.
-- Carl
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:42 PM   #3
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Those were medical emergencies, but far from being a disaster.

Today at 3:45 PM, we had a flash flood.
Rainfall numbers near 8 inches per an hour.
Already saturated ground, could not asorbe what had fell and the creeks rose and the roadways flooded and trees fell across the roads, and rocks washed across the roads and made them impassable, a car drove off the road and was wedged between two trees.
The funny part was when the Town Clown - cop called on his radio and said he couldn't get into the town to report to work - the roads were all closed.

The storm produced rotation - about 1 mile from my house and we almost had a tornado.
The old adage - nothing takes the place of boots on the ground is very true in this type of situation.
I put in a call to the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh, they had a hard time with the town names - since they were city slickers and they never been to Jefferson County or heard of the little towns that were undulated with rain.

The local repeater had some jerk off - old guy that lives in the high rise and doesn't have but a Technician Class License and no transportation, and was 20 miles from the epicenter of the storm - where he was at, all it did was rain a little.

When I asked the group to disconnect the repeater he was on, and the linked repeater system so we could use the counties repeater for emergency use only - they said they would monitor the situation and old Barney went right back to reading what he read on the television and giving his weather report from his high rise apartment.

The programmable scanner, programmed with all the public service radio frequencies sounded more like a commercial FM radio station then police, fire, ambulance.. Eventually the storm moved east and south and it washed out the main highway about 10 miles from my house. I shut my radio off and said forget it.

The people in the next county over did not say one word on their repeater, because the storm had not yet made it to their world.
The amateur radio club from the next county did not call on the radio and ask if the people in our county needed any assistance.

It all goes to show that they are not REAL HAMS!

If you wait until after a disaster to turn your radio on or offer to help, by the time you get around to doing it, the power will probably be off, the repeater will probably be in op, and the batteries in your handheld will probably be dead, or darn near it.

The sad part was when the highway washed out and there was a fire on the other side of the road and a fire company from 5 miles away had to be called to respond to the fire. Their crew was already deployed elsewhere and they had to call everyone back to respond to the structure fire..

It only goes to show that things can turn to crap in a blink of an eye and if you are not prepared, you can get caught off guard, and the people you think will be there to help you, probably won't!
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:04 PM   #4
Carl, nn5i
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Ah, such a ray of sunshine in a gloomy world. How do you maintain so positive an outlook and present so cheerful and uplifting a narrative? Pure nobility of character. I salute you.
-- Carl
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:48 AM   #5
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Is a medical emergency a "Disaster".. Depends on your point of view.

From my point of view if YOU have a heart attack.. that is a Medical emergency.

If the entire room gets food poisioning: that is a disaster

From your point of view: They are both Disasters.

It's all about POV.

Me: I missed out on the heart attack.. Got to the ER while I could still walk,,, Missed out on the pleasures of de-filibration for the most part.

(Congestive heart failure complicated with reduced blood flow and arterial flutter, Medication cleared the blockage and the CHF (For a week I could pass anything save a restroom) and they did a "Cardio Conversion" which is a low wattage cousin to De-Fib to knock out the flutter, then an ablation (Genuine heart burn) to prevent it's return... Still, nothing even close to a full blown heart attack. The result.. I can now do many things that a year ago I could not.. Much better health, I'm guessing about 10 years added to life minimum.)
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by NN5I View Post
Ah, such a ray of sunshine in a gloomy world. How do you maintain so positive an outlook and present so cheerful and uplifting a narrative? Pure nobility of character. I salute you.
My house is a lot like the television show - The Munsters.

There is a black cloud that hovers just over the chimney most of the time.

I went to get an MRI today at the local band aid station - hospital.
I am familiar with MRI's and the machines used to take them.
When I looked at their machine I laughed.
The opening was about the size of a basketball and the table looked like a 2 x 10 plank.

They had to manually jack up the table for me and my shoulders wouldn't fit inside of the machine.

Had it been a true emergency, they would have had to Life Flight me to Pittsburgh. Life in a small town I guess.
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