EMS

Harvey Death Toll Surpasses 30; More Fatalities Expected

JEMS - News - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 09:30

HOUSTON (AP) — Now that the sun is finally shining and the murky, brown floodwaters are slowly receding in much of the Houston area, grim reality is setting in.

Harvey is about to release its dead.

In Texas, the official death toll surpassed 30 on Wednesday and was expected to climb as authorities investigated several other deaths to determine whether they were storm-related. Officials fear that the number of fatalities will climb sharply in coming days as neighbors, emergency workers and family members search for the missing — and discover the bodies of people trapped in waterlogged homes or encased in underwater graves inside cars. And the death toll might rise even further in the recovery phase, from car crashes, carbon monoxide poisoning or other accidents during cleanup.

"Historically all estimates of deaths are wrong in the beginning," said Craig Fugate, who was the Federal Emergency Management Agency director from 2009 until earlier this year.

Already, the nation is shocked by the horrors revealed as the storm moves out of the area and east toward Louisiana and points north.

The first confirmed fatality came early: A man in the Gulf coastal city of Rockport was killed in a fire late Friday as the storm raged ashore.

On Wednesday, officials located a submerged van that seven members of a Houston family had been traveling in when it was swept off a bridge and into a storm-ravaged bayou. Samuel Saldivar told police he was trying to bring his elderly parents and his brother's four grandchildren to safety from their flooded home on Sunday when the van he was driving was tossed by a strong current into the bayou as it crossed the bridge. He escaped through a window but the six others were trapped when the van's partially submerged sliding door wouldn't open.

Categories: EMS

Harvey Death Toll Surpasses 30; More Fatalities Expected

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 09:30

HOUSTON (AP) — Now that the sun is finally shining and the murky, brown floodwaters are slowly receding in much of the Houston area, grim reality is setting in.

Harvey is about to release its dead.

In Texas, the official death toll surpassed 30 on Wednesday and was expected to climb as authorities investigated several other deaths to determine whether they were storm-related. Officials fear that the number of fatalities will climb sharply in coming days as neighbors, emergency workers and family members search for the missing — and discover the bodies of people trapped in waterlogged homes or encased in underwater graves inside cars. And the death toll might rise even further in the recovery phase, from car crashes, carbon monoxide poisoning or other accidents during cleanup.

"Historically all estimates of deaths are wrong in the beginning," said Craig Fugate, who was the Federal Emergency Management Agency director from 2009 until earlier this year.

Already, the nation is shocked by the horrors revealed as the storm moves out of the area and east toward Louisiana and points north.

The first confirmed fatality came early: A man in the Gulf coastal city of Rockport was killed in a fire late Friday as the storm raged ashore.

On Wednesday, officials located a submerged van that seven members of a Houston family had been traveling in when it was swept off a bridge and into a storm-ravaged bayou. Samuel Saldivar told police he was trying to bring his elderly parents and his brother's four grandchildren to safety from their flooded home on Sunday when the van he was driving was tossed by a strong current into the bayou as it crossed the bridge. He escaped through a window but the six others were trapped when the van's partially submerged sliding door wouldn't open.

Categories: EMS

Israel Rescue Coalition Sending Psychological First Aid Team To Help in Houston

JEMS - News - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 11:34

Jerusalem - On Wednesday evening, the Israel Rescue Coalition (IRC) will mobilize and dispatch a team comprised of elite members of United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit to Houston, Texas in order to provide mental and emotional stabilization to people who need it.

The team includes Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and therapists and will be arriving in Houston early Thursday morning, local time. While not yet confirmed, there is a succinct possibility that a military psychologist from the IDF will be joining the group.

“People need help on the ground,” said Dov Maisel, Director of International Operations for the IRC and Vice President of United Hatzalah. “‘They need to be able to wrap their minds around what was lost and they need assistance figuring out how to cope and where to go from here. That is the biggest challenge currently facing all Houston residents who have suffered during Hurricane Harvey.” Maisel himself was dispatched to Haiti in 2016 following Hurricane Matthew and Nepal in 2015 following the devastating earthquakes that killed thousands of people.

“We inquired on the ground in Houston with regards to what was needed and the response that we received was that the most urgent need was psychological and emotional assistance.  The Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit members excel in exactly that. There are thousands of displaced people who are currently living in shelters across the area. We were told that Search and Rescue, as well as EMS assistance, were not needed at this time, but the option is there to send a second team comprised of experts in those areas should we be asked to bring them,” Maisel added.

The IRC is primarily a search and rescue unit comprised of Israel’s top level experts in mass casualty incident (MCI) and disaster response. The volunteer responders and trainers specialize in disaster preparedness, training, and deployment, as well as tactical search and rescue operations. Another aspect of the IRC’s mission is to train international emergency response personnel.The coalition was formed to provide immediate search and rescue response throughout Israel, and disaster relief worldwide. By utilizing the pre-existing Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit team members of United Hatzalah, the IRC is mobilizing the most specialized people in Israel to answer the greatest need currently on the ground in Houston.

Categories: EMS

Evacuee Shelter on Texas, Louisiana Border Flooded

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 08:46

HOUSTON (AP) — A sodden Texas coastal community was becoming increasingly isolated Wednesday, as Harvey-fed rains flooded most major roadways leading out of the city and swamped a shelter for those displaced by the storm that ravaged the Houston area.

Jefferson County sheriff's deputy Marcus McLellan said he wasn't sure where the 100 or so evacuees at the Bowers Civic Center in Port Arthur would be sent. Most of them were perched on bleacher seats to stay dry, their belongings largely stranded on the shelter floor below them under about a foot (30 centimeters) of water, he said.

"People started coming to the shelter on Monday," McLellan said. "And now it's just all the rainfall that's coming in, and there's a canal by there also that's overflowing."

With at least 18 people killed by Harvey and 13,000 more rescued in the Houston area and surrounding cities and counties, yet more people were still trying to escape from their inundated homes. Weakened levees were in danger of failing, even as a less-ferocious but still potent Harvey returned to shore.

Harvey initially made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Friday then lingered off the coast of Southeast Texas for five days as a tropical storm that dropped record amounts of rain on Houston, the nation's fourth largest city, and the surrounding area. It made landfall for a second time early Wednesday, coming to shore near Cameron in southwest Louisiana and bringing with it a heavy dose of rain that is forecast to spread further north as the day progresses, perhaps as far as Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas. Some sunshine was, finally, forecast for Houston.

Authorities expected the human toll to continue to mount, both in deaths and in the tens of thousands of people made homeless by the catastrophic storm that is now the heaviest tropical downpour in U.S. history. In all, more than 17,000 people have sought refuge in Texas shelters, and that number seemed certain to increase, the American Red Cross said.

Categories: EMS

Evacuee Shelter on Texas, Louisiana Border Flooded

JEMS - News - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 08:46

HOUSTON (AP) — A sodden Texas coastal community was becoming increasingly isolated Wednesday, as Harvey-fed rains flooded most major roadways leading out of the city and swamped a shelter for those displaced by the storm that ravaged the Houston area.

Jefferson County sheriff's deputy Marcus McLellan said he wasn't sure where the 100 or so evacuees at the Bowers Civic Center in Port Arthur would be sent. Most of them were perched on bleacher seats to stay dry, their belongings largely stranded on the shelter floor below them under about a foot (30 centimeters) of water, he said.

"People started coming to the shelter on Monday," McLellan said. "And now it's just all the rainfall that's coming in, and there's a canal by there also that's overflowing."

With at least 18 people killed by Harvey and 13,000 more rescued in the Houston area and surrounding cities and counties, yet more people were still trying to escape from their inundated homes. Weakened levees were in danger of failing, even as a less-ferocious but still potent Harvey returned to shore.

Harvey initially made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Friday then lingered off the coast of Southeast Texas for five days as a tropical storm that dropped record amounts of rain on Houston, the nation's fourth largest city, and the surrounding area. It made landfall for a second time early Wednesday, coming to shore near Cameron in southwest Louisiana and bringing with it a heavy dose of rain that is forecast to spread further north as the day progresses, perhaps as far as Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas. Some sunshine was, finally, forecast for Houston.

Authorities expected the human toll to continue to mount, both in deaths and in the tens of thousands of people made homeless by the catastrophic storm that is now the heaviest tropical downpour in U.S. history. In all, more than 17,000 people have sought refuge in Texas shelters, and that number seemed certain to increase, the American Red Cross said.

Categories: EMS

Sunstar Paramedics Employee Receives Award from Florida EMS Educators

JEMS - News - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 19:59

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Sunstar Paramedics employee Richard Romanek received the 2017 Preceptor of the Year award from the Florida Association of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Educators.
 
Romanek was honored for his dedication to mentoring St. Petersburg College students. As a preceptor, Romanek provides essential training for EMS students during their field internship at Sunstar.
 
“Richard is one of our best preceptors and certainly the most sought out preceptor with Sunstar,” said Rebecca Ludwig, Dean of Health Sciences at St. Petersburg College. “He is very student centered and a tremendous asset to our program.”
 
After joining Sunstar as a paramedic in 2012, Romanek quickly advanced to become a preceptor. He has also been selected to work as a field training officer and safety officer with Sunstar. He is also a basic and advanced cardiac life support instructor.
 
“Richard is a well-respected paramedic, and puts in the most hours of any preceptors for St. Petersburg College,” said Mark Postma, chief operating officer of Sunstar Paramedics. “We’re very pleased that he was recognized for his important work in educating the next generation of paramedics and EMTs.”
 
Romanek has several commendations from local organizations, including local fire departments, nursing homes, and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
 
The Florida Association of EMS Educators is an association that provides resources to individuals and organizations to foster high-quality EMS education and training. The statewide awards recognize those who exemplify excellence in EMS education.
 
About Sunstar Paramedics
Sunstar is the 911 ambulance transport service for all Pinellas County residents, employing 615 local residents, and responding to around 500 calls a day. Highly awarded and accredited, Sunstar utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and software, and (along with parent company Paramedics Plus) is an innovator of the industry’s best practices. Sunstar’s team is heavily involved in Pinellas communities, focusing largely on safety programs for the public and for schools. Sunstar is also a prior recipient of the Florida Governor's Sterling Award, the state’s most prestigious award recognizing “role models for organizational performance excellence.” More info at SunstarEMS.com


Categories: EMS

CCEMS & ESD 48 First in U.S. to Deploy Whole Blood

JEMS - News - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 19:40

On August 24, 2017 at approximately 7:30 pm Cypress Creek EMS became one of only two ground EMS systems in the country to carry Whole Blood in the field 24/7/365. The other agency is our partner in the program, Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department/EMS which deployed whole blood on Friday August 18.

Exactly one year ago, CCEMS deployed packed red blood cells and plasma for the first time. Since then 133 units have been administered to 72 patients. About 56% percent were medical in nature such as gastrointestinal bleeding and 44% were trauma patients. Here’s the breakdown on trauma.

While we enjoyed great success with the blood products program, we knew that whole blood had additional clotting factors such as platelets and that recent battlefield experience indicated the possibility of even better results.

The first shipment of whole blood was delivered around 5 pm on August 24th and was checked in, tagged and documented by Supply Manager and Supervisor Vaughan Miller before being deployed into the field. Special Operations Director Wren Nealy reviewed the protocols with CCEMS Supervisors earlier in the day.

Categories: EMS

H&H Medical Announces Product Mobile App for IOS and Android

JEMS - News - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 19:36

WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA - H&H Medical Corporation, a leading manufacturer and supplier of emergency first aid products, announced today the availability of a mobile application for users to learn about H&H Medical products, how they treat severe injuries and medical emergencies, and step-by-step instructions on how to use them.

The app was designed to help users quickly identify the products they might need to treat a particular medical emergency. While not designed as a training tool, the app does provide information about products for treating severe bleeding, sealing chest wounds, addressing a tension pneumothorax, opening airways, and other immediate trauma emergencies.

The app also provides step-by-step instructions on how to use each product in the catalog along with links to order products from H&H Medical’s website. The app is available from the IOS App Store and the Google Play Store. More information can be found at http://mobileapp.gohandh.com.

“H&H Medical has worked hard to create products for point-of-injury trauma care that are easy to use” said Paul Harder, president of H&H Medical. “Through this app, users will be able to quickly identify what products they need to carry with them to be prepared and how to use them in an emergency”

About H&H Medical Corporation

Since 1982, H&H Medical Corporation has been dedicated to solving complex problems facing military and civilian responders. Recognized as a leading supplier of innovative pre-hospital trauma products, H&H Medical Corporation manufactures and distributes such products as the Bolin Chest Seal™, H-Bandage™ compression dressing, H&H Compressed Gauze, and Emergency Cricothyrotomy Kit. For more information, visit us at http://www.gohandh.com.

Categories: EMS

NJ EMS Volunteers, Keansburg Officials Plan Sept. 10 WTC Steel Monument Groundbreaking

JEMS - News - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 19:32

KEANSBURG, NJ – Officials from the EMS Council of New Jersey (EMSCNJ) and Keansburg Borough are planning a 1 p.m. Sept. 10 groundbreaking in preparation for a memorial featuring a piece of World Trade Center steel. The monument will be the country’s first dedicated solely to the emergency medical services personnel who responded that day.

The 88-year-old nonprofit New Jersey State First Aid Council, doing business as the EMSCNJ, represents 20,000 EMS volunteers affiliated with nearly 300 EMS agencies throughout the state. It was among 1,132 organizations to be awarded an artifact from the Twin Towers rubble. Since taking possession of the steel beam in 2011 from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, EMSCNJ officials have been searching for an appropriate site for a memorial to honor the dozens of EMS responders who died Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the countless New Jersey EMS volunteers and responders from several states who pitched in to help that day and for weeks afterward.

“After an exhaustive search, we chose Keansburg for our memorial for several reasons,” said EMSCNJ President Joseph G. Walsh, Jr. of Neptune. “It’s easily accessible and an area well served by EMS volunteers. In addition, its beautiful Raritan Bay coastline offers a view of the Manhattan skyline, which will help visitors appreciate the memorial’s significance.”  

"We are honored the EMS Council of New Jersey chose Keansburg to host its 9/11 memorial,” said Mayor George Hoff. “To be able to display a piece of the World Trade Center is very humbling. It will be displayed alongside the borough’s 9/11 memorial to make sure the tragic events of this infamous day and the lives that were lost will never be forgotten."

The 5-foot-long, 338-pound portion of rusty, twisted steel measures 34 inches wide and 29 inches high, and will be displayed between replicas of the Twin Towers. The monument will be set in a cement foundation of approximately 30 square inches, on the south end of the beach, in front of the boardwalk. Its placement will be in direct sight line to where the towers stood.

Categories: EMS

ESO Announces 2018 Wave EMS Data Conference and National User Group Meeting in Austin, Texas, Feb. 1-2, 2018

JEMS - News - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 19:27

AUSTIN, Texas – ESO Solutions, Inc., announced today that ESO Wave, its emergency medical services (EMS) data conference and user group meeting, will be held February 1-2, 2018, in Austin. 

More than 500 leaders, medical directors, and technology and data officers are expected to gather to discuss trends in EMS and healthcare, and share best practices in EMS data analysis and data sharing between EMS and hospitals. 

"In today's healthcare environment, data matters more than ever before, and EMS is playing a critical role," said Chris Dillie, President and CEO of ESO. "Wave's mission is to arm our industry with the tools and knowledge they need to not only improve patient care and operations, but to tell their story with data." 

Planned topics include:

Educational sessions include both presentations and hands-on, interactive sessions that encourage attendees to participate in the discussion, and to shape the future of ESO products and services. Wave also attracts numerous sponsors representing innovative technologies and services for EMS provider agencies.

To learn more about ESO's Wave conference and to register, visit esosolutions.com/wave.

Categories: EMS

EMSCNJ to Honor Veterans During October Convention

JEMS - News - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 19:21

PARSIPPANY, NJ – Registration continues for the EMS Council of New Jersey’s (EMSCNJ) Oct. 13-15 symposium and trade show at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel, 199 Smith Road, Parsippany. The event will include nearly four dozen EMT education-credit seminars, trade show exhibits and vendors with the latest medical and rescue equipment, a Parsippany Rescue and Recovery Unit confined-space rescue demonstration, an antique ambulance display and contest, EMS-related merchandise booths, a Tricky Tray auction and 50/50 raffles, Friday night “American Country Buffet” and Saturday banquet with live entertainment both nights, and more.

As part of the EMSCNJ’s annual conference, the weekend will include organizational meetings, leadership elections, a memorial service for deceased members and award presentations. Cadet and youth members also are invited for a special program. Daily registration is free for cadet members under age 18.

In keeping with this year’s convention theme, “Celebrating America: Red, White & Blue and EMS, too,” the group will honor EMSCNJ members who are veterans.

“We have more than a few EMS volunteers in our organization who are U.S. military veterans,” said Joseph G. Walsh, Jr., EMSCNJ president. “They’ve lived lives of sacrifice, dedication and service, first for their country and now for their communities. These selfless individuals surely deserve our recognition and gratitude.”

The Oct. 14 ceremony honoring veterans will immediately follow the 2 p.m. memorial service.

In conjunction with the U.S Marine Corps Reserve and the 2nd Battalion 25th Marines at Picatinny Arsenal, the EMSCNJ encourages convention attendees to bring new, unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots Program.  More than 300 toys were donated last year. Collection boxes will be placed in the trade show area.

“Our annual convention offers so many educational and networking opportunities with other EMS personnel and nationally recognized experts,” Walsh said. “From the opioid epidemic to trauma, respiratory and other medical emergencies, pediatric patients, EMS law, documentation and more, we have it covered.”

Categories: EMS

No Need to Administer Tetanus Shots to Those Exposed to Flood Waters

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 13:50

Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, an advisor to the U.S. Metropolitan Medical Directors “Eagles” Coalition and an expert in the area of infectious diseases, has advised that there's no need to routinely administer tetanus shots to those exposed to flood waters.

Dr. Osterholm notes that it's a long standing myth that there's an increased risk with such contact. The CDC recommendations further calcifies this issue.

In watching the news coverage of Hurricane Harvey, Dr. Osterholm has seen and heard healthcare providers, emergency responders and public health officials in the impacted areas repeating the myth about this risk and setting up vaccination programs or clinics.

In fact, in the presence of water (like flood water), the Clostridium tetani  spores that enter the body with a puncture wound actually are likely to have already sporulated and pose less risk of causing tetanus than a dry puncture not associated with flooding and water.

Dr. Osterholm recommends the cessation of the routine tetanus shots ASAP, noting that all it will do is eat up precious healthcare and public health resources, cause lots of sore arms that need to be working, and frighten people about a condition for which they are not at increased risk.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

Categories: EMS

No Need to Administer Tetanus Shots to Those Exposed to Flood Waters

JEMS - News - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 13:50

Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, an advisor to the U.S. Metropolitan Medical Directors “Eagles” Coalition and an expert in the area of infectious diseases, has advised that there's no need to routinely administer tetanus shots to those exposed to flood waters.

Dr. Osterholm notes that it's a long standing myth that there's an increased risk with such contact. The CDC recommendations further calcifies this issue.

In watching the news coverage of Hurricane Harvey, Dr. Osterholm has seen and heard healthcare providers, emergency responders and public health officials in the impacted areas repeating the myth about this risk and setting up vaccination programs or clinics.

In fact, in the presence of water (like flood water), the Clostridium tetani  spores that enter the body with a puncture wound actually are likely to have already sporulated and pose less risk of causing tetanus than a dry puncture not associated with flooding and water.

Dr. Osterholm recommends the cessation of the routine tetanus shots ASAP, noting that all it will do is eat up precious healthcare and public health resources, cause lots of sore arms that need to be working, and frighten people about a condition for which they are not at increased risk.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

Categories: EMS

Harvey Evacuees Gather at Houston Shelter

JEMS - News - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 11:02

HOUSTON (AP) — With more guests than cots, some people slept on chairs or the floor. People hung towels and wet clothes on the base of the ceiling supports. Police officers guarded several entrances. Outside, dozens of people still awake stood with their pets and traded cigarettes.

People who escaped rising floodwaters and pouring rain spawned by Harvey arrived at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Monday night by the busload and truckload even as the convention center exceeded its capacity of 5,000. The second night inside the center was louder, more crowded and at times, more chaotic, and even more people arrived Tuesday.

At one point, officers tended to two men lying unresponsive in front of an exit, pushing away onlookers. The men had taken drugs and would both recover within an hour.

Frustration grew in some places, more than three days after the storm ravaged the Texas coastline as a Category 4 hurricane before transforming into a tropical storm that currently sits parked over the Gulf of Mexico ahead of an expected return to shore. One person said she had only gotten one meal Monday while watching others take several helpings of food.

Another person, Kevin Perkins, described sleeping on the floor and feeling accosted by police officers inside.

"It's hell," Perkins said. He shook his head and walked away as Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, during a visit to the convention center Monday, approached near where he was standing.

"All my stuff damaged. I have no clothes, no shoes, no nothing," he said.

The din inside eventually fell as thousands of people went to bed. About 9,000 people were in the convention center by Tuesday morning, according to the Red Cross. With no cots left, some people laid out towels, blankets and strips of cardboard.

Categories: EMS

Harvey Evacuees Gather at Houston Shelter

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 11:02

HOUSTON (AP) — With more guests than cots, some people slept on chairs or the floor. People hung towels and wet clothes on the base of the ceiling supports. Police officers guarded several entrances. Outside, dozens of people still awake stood with their pets and traded cigarettes.

People who escaped rising floodwaters and pouring rain spawned by Harvey arrived at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Monday night by the busload and truckload even as the convention center exceeded its capacity of 5,000. The second night inside the center was louder, more crowded and at times, more chaotic, and even more people arrived Tuesday.

At one point, officers tended to two men lying unresponsive in front of an exit, pushing away onlookers. The men had taken drugs and would both recover within an hour.

Frustration grew in some places, more than three days after the storm ravaged the Texas coastline as a Category 4 hurricane before transforming into a tropical storm that currently sits parked over the Gulf of Mexico ahead of an expected return to shore. One person said she had only gotten one meal Monday while watching others take several helpings of food.

Another person, Kevin Perkins, described sleeping on the floor and feeling accosted by police officers inside.

"It's hell," Perkins said. He shook his head and walked away as Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, during a visit to the convention center Monday, approached near where he was standing.

"All my stuff damaged. I have no clothes, no shoes, no nothing," he said.

The din inside eventually fell as thousands of people went to bed. About 9,000 people were in the convention center by Tuesday morning, according to the Red Cross. With no cots left, some people laid out towels, blankets and strips of cardboard.

Categories: EMS

Flooding Disrupts Care at Houston Trauma Center, Hospitals

JEMS - News - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 10:39

One of the nation's busiest trauma centers began clearing space Monday for the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey even as the storm continued its days-long onslaught of rain.

Ben Taub Hospital personnel transferred a handful of patients to other facilities and took much needed deliveries of food and fresh linens after spending the weekend short-staffed and with dwindling supplies, said Bryan McLeod, a spokesman for the Houston hospital's parent company, Harris Health System.

The goal was not a full evacuation but to move about 60 of the 350 patients from the 440-bed facility in time to take on new patients once the storm finally moves on the widespread flooding recedes, McLeod said.

"This is setting the table," he said early Tuesday. "Eventually, when the rain stops, people resume their lives and get back out on the roads, we're going to see more trauma events."

Floodwater and sewage got into the basement of the hospital's main building and affected pharmacy, food service and other key operations for a time.

Heavy rains thwarted plans Sunday to move patients to other hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, a large medical complex southwest of downtown. Only the designated "ride-out team" had been working in the hospital, with water levels around the city too high for additional staff — including the hospital's chief medical officer — to get in.

The nearby University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center also canceled outpatient services, appointments and surgeries at all Houston-area locations through Tuesday, and told patients not to attempt to travel because of high water in the area of the medical complex. Patients who already had been admitted are receiving care as usual, a spokeswoman said.

Categories: EMS

Flooding Disrupts Care at Houston Trauma Center, Hospitals

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 10:39

One of the nation's busiest trauma centers began clearing space Monday for the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey even as the storm continued its days-long onslaught of rain.

Ben Taub Hospital personnel transferred a handful of patients to other facilities and took much needed deliveries of food and fresh linens after spending the weekend short-staffed and with dwindling supplies, said Bryan McLeod, a spokesman for the Houston hospital's parent company, Harris Health System.

The goal was not a full evacuation but to move about 60 of the 350 patients from the 440-bed facility in time to take on new patients once the storm finally moves on the widespread flooding recedes, McLeod said.

"This is setting the table," he said early Tuesday. "Eventually, when the rain stops, people resume their lives and get back out on the roads, we're going to see more trauma events."

Floodwater and sewage got into the basement of the hospital's main building and affected pharmacy, food service and other key operations for a time.

Heavy rains thwarted plans Sunday to move patients to other hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, a large medical complex southwest of downtown. Only the designated "ride-out team" had been working in the hospital, with water levels around the city too high for additional staff — including the hospital's chief medical officer — to get in.

The nearby University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center also canceled outpatient services, appointments and surgeries at all Houston-area locations through Tuesday, and told patients not to attempt to travel because of high water in the area of the medical complex. Patients who already had been admitted are receiving care as usual, a spokeswoman said.

Categories: EMS

Harvey Rescue Crews Anticipate Drastic Increase in Fatalities as Waters Recede

JEMS - News - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 10:22

HOUSTON (AP) — Crews overwhelmed by thousands of rescue calls during one of the heaviest downpours in U.S. history have had little time to search for other potential victims, but officials acknowledge the grim reality that fatalities linked to Harvey could soar once the devastating floodwaters recede from one of America's most sprawling metropolitan centers.

More than three days after the storm ravaged the Texas coastline as a Category 4 hurricane, authorities had confirmed only three deaths — including a woman killed Monday when heavy rains dislodged a large oak tree onto her trailer home in the small town of Porter. But unconfirmed reports of others missing or presumed dead were growing.

"We know in these kind of events that, sadly, the death toll goes up historically," Houston police Chief Art Acevedo told The Associated Press. "I'm really worried about how many bodies we're going to find."

One Houston woman said Monday that she presumes six members of a family, including four of her grandchildren, died after their van sank into Greens Bayou in East Houston, though Houston emergency officials couldn't confirm the deaths. Virginia Saldivar told The Associated Press her brother-in-law was driving the van Sunday when a strong current took the vehicle over a bridge and into the bayou. The driver was able to get out and urged the children to escape through the back door, Saldivar said, but they could not.

"I'm just hoping we find the bodies," Saldivar said.

Categories: EMS

Harvey Rescue Crews Anticipate Drastic Increase in Fatalities as Waters Recede

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 10:22

HOUSTON (AP) — Crews overwhelmed by thousands of rescue calls during one of the heaviest downpours in U.S. history have had little time to search for other potential victims, but officials acknowledge the grim reality that fatalities linked to Harvey could soar once the devastating floodwaters recede from one of America's most sprawling metropolitan centers.

More than three days after the storm ravaged the Texas coastline as a Category 4 hurricane, authorities had confirmed only three deaths — including a woman killed Monday when heavy rains dislodged a large oak tree onto her trailer home in the small town of Porter. But unconfirmed reports of others missing or presumed dead were growing.

"We know in these kind of events that, sadly, the death toll goes up historically," Houston police Chief Art Acevedo told The Associated Press. "I'm really worried about how many bodies we're going to find."

One Houston woman said Monday that she presumes six members of a family, including four of her grandchildren, died after their van sank into Greens Bayou in East Houston, though Houston emergency officials couldn't confirm the deaths. Virginia Saldivar told The Associated Press her brother-in-law was driving the van Sunday when a strong current took the vehicle over a bridge and into the bayou. The driver was able to get out and urged the children to escape through the back door, Saldivar said, but they could not.

"I'm just hoping we find the bodies," Saldivar said.

Categories: EMS

Coast Guard Conducts Risky Rescue Operations Amid Houston Flooding

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 10:01

 

Houston, Texas (CBS News) - The enormous scale of the flooding crisis in Houston is clear by the size of the rescue operations. The U.S. Coast Guard has deployed more than 500 service members to Texas and more teams are on the way.

"CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell and her team got a rare look inside the Coast Guard's Houston-area command posts and saw true teamwork in action.

Before the Coast Guard rescue teams can get to work outside, they get their marching orders from command post headquarters. The center is an operations hub for not just the Coast Guard, but for local law enforcement and the National Guard as well.

"Recently, we have transitioned to a call center which is back in our conference room," Chief Warrant Officer Mike Henry told O'Donnell.

They've had to set up a separate call center due to the volume of calls coming in. Read more...

Categories: EMS

Pages

Subscribe to Volunteer Mobile Emergency Response Unit -- rehabsector.org aggregator - EMS