EMS-1 Major Incidents

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Updated: 59 min 14 sec ago

98 Killed in Syria Attack

3 hours 31 min ago

BEIRUT (AP) — Intense Syrian government shelling and airstrikes of rebel-held Damascus suburbs killed at least 98 people in what was the deadliest day in the area in three years, a monitoring group and paramedics said Tuesday.

A day after Monday's government barrage, retaliatory shells rained down on the capital Damascus, killing at least one person on Tuesday.

The targeted suburbs — scattered across an area known as eastern Ghouta — have been subjected to weeks-long bombardment that has killed and wounded hundreds of people. Opposition activists say government forces have brought in more reinforcements in recent days, suggesting a major assault is imminent to recapture the area that is the last main rebel stronghold near Damascus.

Monday's bombardment that killed nearly 100 people saw the use of warplanes, helicopter gunships, missiles as well as artillery, in a major escalation of violence near President Bashar Assad's seat of power.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was the deadliest days in eastern Ghouta since 2015, adding that 20 children and 15 women were among those killed.

The opposition-affiliated Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets, said the shelling and airstrikes killed 98 and that some people are still under the rubble. It said the dead included one of the rescue group's members, Firas Jomaa.

Both the Observatory and the White Helmets reported more airstrikes and shelling on Tuesday in eastern Ghouta as rebels pounded Damascus with mortar shells.

Rebels retaliated by hitting some Damascus neighborhoods with mortar shells, killing one person and wounding six people, according to the state news agency SANA. On Tuesday morning, Damascus residents reported shelling on areas in central Damascus.

"Shells are falling like rain. We are hiding in the corridor," a Damascus resident told The Associated Press, asking that her name not be mentioned for her own safety. She spoke while hiding in the corridor of an office building.

Categories: EMS

17 Killed in Garbage Dump Collapse in Mozambique

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 05:47

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Heavy rains triggered the partial collapse of a huge mound of garbage in Mozambique's capital on Monday, killing 17 people who were buried by debris.

Authorities believe more bodies could be buried at the Hulene garbage dump on the outskirts of Maputo, and a search was underway. The garbage in the poor, densely populated area where the disaster happened rose to the height of a three-story building, according to the Portuguese news agency Lusa.

Lusa and Radio Mocambique both reported 17 deaths. Half a dozen homes were destroyed and some residents in the area fled for fear of another collapse.

"The mountains of garbage collapsed on the houses and many families were still inside these residences," Fatima Belchior, a national disaster official, told Lusa. Authorities are trying to help people who lost their homes, she said.

The Hulene garbage dump is the largest such facility in Maputo. People often comb through the garbage, searching for food and items to sell.

Health workers have long raised concerns about the impact of the fumes, flies and other hazards of the dump on the surrounding community. Municipal officials have previously discussed the closure of the dump.

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This story corrects the spelling of name in paragraph 4 to Belchior.

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Fatal Shooting at Florida High School

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 18:02

Categories: EMS

Gunman Kills at Least 17 in Florida High School Shooting

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 17:48

 

PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — A former student opened fire at a Florida high school Wednesday as classes were being dismissed, killing at least 17 people and sending scores of students running into the streets to escape the bullets.

 

Frantic parents rushed to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where SWAT team members and ambulances had surrounded the campus. Live footage showed emergency workers who appeared to be treating the wounded on sidewalks.

"It is a horrific situation," Superintendent Robert Runcie said. "It is a horrible day for us."

The 19-year-old suspect was taken into custody without incident about an hour after he left the school, authorities said.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said the suspect, who was previously expelled for disciplinary reasons, had at least one rifle and multiple magazines.

Most of the fatalities were inside the building, though some were found fatally shot outside, the sheriff said.

The gunman was identified as Nicolas Cruz by a U.S. official briefed on the investigation. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the information publicly.

The day started normally at the school, which had a morning fire drill, and students were in class around 2:30 p.m. when another alarm sounded.

Noah Parness, a 17-year-old junior, said he and the other students calmly went outside to their fire-drill areas when he suddenly heard popping sounds.

"We saw a bunch of teachers running down the stairway, and then everybody shifted and broke into a sprint," Parness said. "I hopped a fence."

Categories: EMS

Shooting at Florida High School; Numerous Fatalities Reported

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 14:40

PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on a shooting at a Florida high school (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

A school official says there are numerous fatalities from the high school shooting in South Florida.

Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie says "There are numerous fatalities. It is a horrific situation." He added, "It is a horrible day for us."

The Broward County Sheriff's Office tweeted Wednesday afternoon that "so far we have at least 14 victims." The tweet added: "Victims have been and continue to be transported to Broward Health Medical Center and Broward Health North hospital."

The sheriff's statement didn't elaborate on the victims or their injuries.

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4:15 p.m.

The White House has canceled its daily press briefing after a Florida high school shooting that sent students rushing into the streets.

President Donald Trump has spoken with Florida Gov. Rick Scott about the shooting. He says in a tweet that the White House is "working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting."

He earlier tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump has offered Florida federal assistance, if needed. The homeland security secretary has also been in touch with state and local officials.

Sanders says, "We continue to keep the victims, and their friends and family, in our thoughts and prayers."

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4:10 p.m.

Authorities say the shooter at a South Florida high school is now in custody.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office gave no details in briefly tweeting that development. It did not identify the shooting suspect nor say how the person was taken into custody.

Television footage showed police putting a person in the back of a police car outside the high school.

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4 p.m.

Parent John Obin says his son, a freshman at the South Florida high school where the shooting erupted, says his child was in class when he heard several shots. The father says his son advised that teachers quickly rushed students out of the school. He adds the boy told his father that he walked by two people on the ground motionless — and apparently dead — as students rushed outside.

Categories: EMS

Earthquake in Taiwan

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 23:40

Categories: EMS

Workers Try to Shore Up Tilted Buildings After Taiwan Quake

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 23:34

HUALIEN, Taiwan (AP) — Workers placed steel beams to stabilize a dangerously tilted building while rescuers on the other side try to pull survivors from their residences Thursday morning, more than a day after a deadly quake shook Taiwan's east coast.

The Yunmen Tsuiti building was one of several damaged by late Tuesday's magnitude-6.4 quake. At least four midsized buildings in worst-hit Hualien county leaned at sharp angles, their lowest floors crushed into mangled heaps of concrete, glass, iron and other debris. Firefighters climbed ladders hoisted against windows to reach residents inside apartments.

The National Fire Agency reported Thursday that death toll had risen to 10 people. More than 260 people were injured and 58 were unaccounted for. At least three of the dead were tourists from the mainland, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Japan's Foreign Ministry said nine Japanese were among the injured. Six mainland Chinese were also injured, the Chinese Communist Party-run People's Daily reported.

President Tsai Ing-wen reassured the public every effort would be made to rescue survivors. On her Facebook page, Tsai said she "ordered search and rescue workers not to give up on any opportunity to save people, while keeping their own safety in mind."

At the Yunmen Tsuiti building, clothes and other personal items were visible on the balconies as the rescue work continued.

The shifting of the buildings was likely caused by soil liquefaction, when the ground loses its solidity under stress such as the shaking of an earthquake.

The quake also buckled roads and disrupted electricity and water supplies to thousands of households.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said his country was dispatching a rescue team to help in the search effort.

Categories: EMS

6 Dead, 76 Missing After Strong Quake Hits Taiwan

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 10:13

HUALIEN, Taiwan (AP) — Rescuers worked Wednesday to free people trapped after a strong earthquake near Taiwan's east coast caused several buildings to cave in and tilt dangerously. At least six people were killed and 76 could not be contacted following the quake.

At least four midsized buildings in worst-hit Hualien county leaned at sharp angles, their lowest floors crushed into mangled heaps of concrete, glass, iron and other debris. Firefighters climbed ladders hoisted against windows to reach residents inside apartments.

The shifting of the buildings after the magnitude 6.4 quake late Tuesday night was likely caused by soil liquefaction, when the ground beneath a building loses its solidity under stress such as that caused by an earthquake.

In this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, center back-facing, is briefed at the site of a collapsed building from an earthquake, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, in Hualien, southeastern Taiwan. Rescuers continue to search for dozens of unaccounted people for in several buildings damaged by a strong earthquake near the island's eastern coast. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)

A maintenance worker who was rescued after being trapped in the basement of the Marshal Hotel said the force of the earthquake was unusual even for a region used to temblors.

"At first it wasn't that big ... we get this sort of thing all the time and it's really nothing. But then it got really terrifying," the worker, Chen Ming-hui, told Taiwan's official Central News Agency after he was reunited with his son and grandson following the quake. "It was really scary."

Two employees of the hotel were killed in the disaster, CNA said. Taiwan's National Fire Agency said rescuers freed another employee from the rubble.

Categories: EMS

Passengers Recount Smoke, Blood on Crashed S. Carolina Train

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 10:24

CAYCE, S.C. (AP) — Passengers on a train that slammed into an empty freight train over the weekend in South Carolina, killing two Amtrak employees, described a smoky, bloody scene in 911 calls released to the news media.

"There's babies with their heads busted wide open, bleeding," one woman said to a dispatcher in a call released Tuesday to WIS-TV . "Everybody flew to the front of the train. ... Everything is everywhere."

In another call, a man described seeing smoke inside the cars and "a lot of people hurt." An Amtrak employee asks dispatchers to send "plenty of help" for the injured.

In interviews with The Associated Press, passengers have described seats ripped from their rows and luggage strewn about the passenger compartments after the crash early Sunday morning near Cayce (CAY-see), South Carolina. The conductor and engineer aboard the New York-to-Miami Amtrak train were killed when that craft collided with a CSX Corp. freight train parked on a side track. More than 100 passengers were treated at hospitals for injuries.

"We're on the train, but some of us have chest pains," another man told a dispatcher. "We need some help. ... I've got to sit down, I can't breathe."

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that railway signals were out at the time of the crash while crews installed a safety system that could have prevented the exact type of wreck that killed engineer Michael Kempf and conductor Michael Cella.

Automated signals that could have warned the passenger train to stop before reaching the switch sending it down the side track were turned off as workers installed a GPS-based system called positive train control, or PTC, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said.

A day before, Sumwalt told reporters "an operational PTC is designed to prevent this type of incident."

Federal investigators also said a locked manual switch forced the passenger train onto the side track where the empty freight train was parked after having offloaded its cargo nearby.

Categories: EMS

Where in the World of EMS Was A.J. Heightman on Superbowl Sunday

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 13:30

JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman taught a 2-day class on mass casualty incident (MCI) management in Mifflin County, Penn., this past weekend sponsored by The Hospital and Healthy System Association of Pennsylvania and FAME EMS. Find out more by watching the video below and reading an article about the training that appeared in The Sentinal.

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Lawmakers Put Medical Skills to Work After Train Crash

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:20

CROZET, Va. (AP) — Republican members of Congress with medical experience put their skills to work after a train carrying dozens of them crashed into a garbage truck in rural Virginia, killing one person in the truck and injuring others.

The lawmakers were on their way to a strategy retreat in the countryside when the collision occurred around 11:20 a.m. Wednesday in Crozet, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of Washington.

No serious injuries were reported aboard the chartered Amtrak train, which set out from the nation's capital with lawmakers, family members and staff for the luxury Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. At least two other people in the truck were reported seriously hurt.

Rep. James Comer of Kentucky said about 100 Republican lawmakers were on the train when the crash made him jump out of his seat.

"I looked out the side of the window and then I could see a truck, just in pieces out the side of the window," Comer said. He said Capitol police officers quickly jumped off the train but came back and asked for any doctors to help.

Florida Rep. Neal Dunn, a former Army surgeon, said he and other lawmakers who are doctors joined other passengers who are nurses or paramedics and jumped out with the basic medical gear they had. They broke into three teams to help the injured people in the truck, he said.

"The first gentleman was somebody who had really, really, really devastating injuries. We did try to resuscitate, but ultimately you had to realize it wasn't possible," Dunn said.

The Albemarle County Police Department identified the passenger killed as Christopher Foley, 28, of Louisa County.

Dunn said another man in the truck was critically injured and a third was seriously hurt.

Categories: EMS

Train Crash in Virginia

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:12

Categories: EMS

Helicopter Crashes into Calif. Home, Leaves 3 Dead, 2 Injured

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 09:58

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Three people were killed and two others were injured when a helicopter crashed into a house in a suburban Southern California neighborhood just a few minutes after taking off, officials said.

The helicopter crashed into the house with such force that it was barely recognizable. The crushed metal sat in a heap on the side of the house, its tail rotor sticking out of the roof of a nearby home and a 6-foot chunk landing in the street in front of yet another house.

This still frame from video provided by KNBC-TV shows the wreckage of a Robinson R44 helicopter after it crashed into a home in Newport Beach, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (KABC-TV via AP)

"All of a sudden the house just shook and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, we're having an earthquake,'" said Marian Michaels, who lives behind the home in a gated community in Newport Beach where the helicopter crashed.

Roger Johnson was doing some woodwork when he heard the chopping sound of a helicopter's rotating blades and then a tremendous boom across the street.

"I turned to look out of the garage and that's when I see this piece of metal flying through the air and hitting a bush and garage door," Johnson said. "Then I heard someone scream — a real for-real horror scream, like something terrible had happened."

Johnson rushed to the wreckage and cautioned people to stop trying to pull out or move victims.

Four people were aboard the Robinson R44 helicopter when it went down. All four were among those killed or injured, and one person who was on the ground but outside of the house was also injured, Newport Beach fire and police officials said. They did not say which was which, or give any specifics about the injuries.

Audrey Ellis, who lives next to the house where the crash happened, was not home at the time but said her neighbors told her they were in the kitchen when the helicopter hit the bedroom of their house.

Categories: EMS

Ambulance Bombing in Afghanistan

Sun, 01/28/2018 - 10:15

Categories: EMS

Ambulance Bomb at Afghan Checkpoint Kills 95; 158 Wounded

Sat, 01/27/2018 - 13:09

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber driving an ambulance coasted through a security checkpoint in Afghanistan's capital on Saturday by telling police he was taking a patient to a nearby hospital and then detonated his explosives at a second checkpoint, killing at least 95 people and wounding 158 more in an attack claimed by the Taliban, authorities said.

The powerful explosion, which came a week after Taliban militants killed 22 people at an international hotel in the capital, Kabul, was felt throughout the city and covered the blast area in smoke and dust. Dozens of vehicles were damaged or destroyed, and several shops, including some selling antiques and photography equipment, were decimated.

Windows at the nearby Jamhuriat government hospital were shattered, and its walls were damaged. People ran out to help, and ambulances arrived to transport dozens of wounded people to hospitals.

The Interior Ministry said four suspects in the deadly bombing, which occurred near the European Union and Indian consulates, had been arrested and were being questioned, but it didn't elaborate.

"The majority of the dead in the attack are civilians, but of course we have military casualties as well," ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for the bombing, which sent thick, black smoke into the sky from a site near the government's former Interior Ministry building.

It has been a month of relentless attacks across Afghanistan, with the Taliban and an Islamic State group affiliate making alternate claims of responsibility. The brutality and frequency of the attacks, including one in December at a Shiite cultural center, has shattered Afghanistan's usually quiet winter, when fighting normally slows down.

Categories: EMS

Floodwaters Threaten Paris, Closing Roads, Tunnels, Cellars

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 12:12

PARIS (AP) — Parisians remained largely unfazed Friday as the Seine River continued to rise and approach peak levels.

The Paris region has been deeply affected by the floods that hit the country over the past week, but in the capital city, it was business as usual for the most part. The Seine will hit its peak soon, but without surpassing record levels, according to Vigicrues, the body in charge of monitoring flood levels.

The Seine reached 5.60 meters (more than 18 feet) Friday morning at the Austerlitz bridge in eastern Paris. It was expected to keep rising, reaching a peak of six meters (20 feet) over the weekend. That's under the 6.2 meters the Seine reached two years ago, and far below the levels reached during the 1910 Great Flood, when the Seine water rose to 8.62 meters (more than 28 feet).

While the 2016 floods led to the death of two people and left several injured in the Paris area, no victims have been recorded during the current episode of flooding.

Fabrice and his dog Largo use a dinghy boat to reach the banks of river Seine in Paris, Thursday, Jan.25, 2018. Rivers across France kept swelling as more rain hit the country Thursday, with 15 departments across the country remaining on alert for floods. In addition to Paris, where the Seine river is expected to keep rising until Saturday, the other regions threatened are in the north and east of the country. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Paris authorities have closed several tunnels, parks, and the bottom floor of the Louvre Museum as precautionary measures. Roads on the river banks have been closed, as well as seven train stations alongside the river, but the moves didn't cause major disruption in the City of Lights.

On a cold Friday morning, a small group of bystanders gathered at the Pont de l'Alma to admire and take pictures of the Seine's muddy waters. Just in front of the bridge close to the tunnel where Princess Diana was killed in a car crash stands the Zouave. It's a statue representing a soldier from the Crimean War, which is used by Parisians as a reference point to measure the Seine's level.

Categories: EMS

New National Standard Unifies Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response Plans

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 12:09

Las Vegas.  Orlando.  New York.  Boston.  Sandy Hook.  These are all names that need little description to many of us when it comes to recalling an “active shooter” or “hostile event” incident – where one person, or a group of people, decided that it was time to kill and maim as many innocent people as possible. 

But what about FreightCar America, Memorial Tire and Auto, or the Melbourne Square Mall?  Those were also places that had this type of incident occur within the last three years, but because of limited national airtime, might be incidents that you’ve never even heard about.  There, too, people died, and lives were changed forever – and the reality is that an incident can just as easily happen in your service area, no matter where you are.

All of us in public safety serve the same ultimate goal: the preservation of life, liberty, and property – in various orders of priority depending upon which uniform we wear and the circumstances of the call we’re on.  But for many years, despite these types of events occurring, most of our response planning for them took place primarily on a local or regional level, and with only the standard level of cooperation: namely, that each agency type came together and performed their individual roles independent of each other, with “handoff” of one to the other at appropriate points in the evolution of an incident.  The reality, however, is that the fluid nature of these incidents means that you're going to perform many roles, and with much more dynamic interchange with other agency types and the community, when they actually go down.

After the Pulse Nightclub shooting, Chief Otto Drozd of the Orange County Fire Department realized that the time had come for a national standard – eventually including the first national competency standards for law enforcement, as well as fire and EMS personnel and other related resources in the community – if we as a nation are ever to be as fully ready to not only respond to and contain these types of acts, but to recover and remain whole as a community afterwards.  In August of 2016, he submitted a proposal to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to establish the first consensus standard for cross-functional emergency preparedness and response to active shooter events.

Categories: EMS

Train Derailment in Italy leaves 3 Dead, Several Injured

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 10:16

MILAN (AP) — A commuter train derailed Thursday in northern Italy, killing at least three people, seriously injuring 10 and trapping others heading into Milan at the start of the work day, officials said.

The Trenord train derailed near the Pioltello Limito station on the outskirts of the city, halting train traffic into and out of Italy's financial capital for hours. A piece of the track appeared broken, and officials said a wheel sustained damage as well, though the cause was under investigation.

At least two main cars from the middle of the train peeled off the rails but were still standing, albeit at an angle. Rescue crews gingerly climbed through the crushed sides of the cars trying to get to trapped passengers.

Prosecutors at the scene said at least three people were killed, 10 were seriously injured and dozens more slightly injured. The train was heading from Cremona, in eastern Lombardy, into Milan's Garibaldi station and suffered some sort of damage to a wheel about 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from where the train came to a halt, said Umberto Debruto, who is in charge of the railway network in Italy.

Debruto told Sky TG24 that it wasn't clear "if that was the cause or the result" of the derailment.

Images of the track showed a chunk of one rail missing, but it wasn't clear what role it played.

Debruto said the train was travelling at the correct speed for that hour, on a high-speed line which was normal for that stretch of track, where there are two conventional rail lines and two high-speed lines. He denied any common cause between Thursday's derailment and a July 23 derailment outside the Pioltello station in which no one was injured.

Passengers reported feeling the car shake for a few minutes before hearing a big bang, and then feeling the car crush in on them.

Categories: EMS

Train Derailment in Italy

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 10:13

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1 Dead, 9 Injured in Kentucky School Shooting

Tue, 01/23/2018 - 11:48

BENTON, Ky. (AP) — Someone with a gun opened fire inside a rural Kentucky high school Tuesday morning, killing one person and injuring nine others. Police said a suspect was apprehended and there is no reason to suspect anyone else in the first fatal school shooting of 2018.

Nearly 100 students ran out of Marshall County High School seeking safety, said Mitchell Garland, who rushed outside of his business when he heard about the shooting.

"They was running and crying and screaming," he said. "They was just kids running down the highway. They were trying to get out of there."

A half-dozen ambulances and numerous police cars converged on the school. Officers in black fatigues carrying assault rifles showed up as well. Federal authorities responded, and Gov. Matt Bevin ran out of the Capitol to rush to the school. Parents left their cars on both sides of an adjacent road, desperately trying to find their teenagers.

One victim died at the scene, a person is in custody and the Kentucky State Police have no reason to suspect anyone else, Trooper Jody Cash told the Murray Ledger & Times. Authorities released no immediate details on the shooter or motive.

Nine people were injured in the gunfire, which happened in a common area before classes began, according to Brian Roy, the county's former sheriff, who told the Louisville Courier-Journal he had spoken with people at the scene.

Seven victims were taken to hospitals, some by helicopter, Darlene Lynn of Marshall County Emergency Management told WDRB-TV. Four of them were flown about 120 miles (193 kilometers) to Nashville, Tennessee's Vanderbilt University Medical Center, spokeswoman Tavia Smith said.

This was the year's first fatal school shooting, 23 days in to 2018, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, which relies on media reports and other information.

"It is unbelievable that this would happen in a small, close-knit community like Marshall County. As there is still much unknown, I encourage people to love each other," Bevin said in a statement.

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