EMS-1 Major Incidents

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Algerian Military Plane Crashes in a Field, Killing 257

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 09:01

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Algerian military plane carrying soldiers and their families crashed soon after takeoff Wednesday into a field in northern Algeria, killing 257 people in what appeared to be the North African nation's worst-ever plane crash.

Algeria's Defense Ministry said those killed included 247 passengers and 10 crew. The cause of the crash was unclear and an investigation has been opened.

Algerian authorities did not mention whether there were any survivors but one witness reported seeing some people jump out of the aircraft before it crashed at 7:50 a.m. Wednesday.

The flight had just taken off from the Boufarik military base, 30 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of the capital Algiers, for a military base in Bechar in southwest Algeria, according to Farouk Achour, the chief spokesman for the civil protection services. It was scheduled to make a layover in Tindouf in southern Algeria, home to many refugees from the neighboring Western Sahara, a disputed territory annexed by Morocco.

The Soviet-designed Il-76 military transport plane crashed in a farm field with no people nearby, Achour said.

In this still taken from TV showing emergency services at the scene after a military plane crashed soon after takeoff at Boufarik military base, near the Algerian capital, Wednesday April 11, 2018. At least 100 people were killed when a military plane crashed soon after takeoff in a farm field in northern Algeria on Wednesday, officials said. (ENNAHAR TV via AP)

Algerian TV Dzair said five people were in a critical state but it's unclear whether they were inside the plane when it crashed.

Footage from the scene showed thick black smoke coming off the field, ambulances and Red Crescent vehicles arriving at the crash site and body bags lined up in the field.

Categories: EMS

Van Attack in Germany

Sat, 04/07/2018 - 14:55

Categories: EMS

Van Crashes into Crowd in Germany, Killing 2

Sat, 04/07/2018 - 12:28

MUENSTER, Germany (AP) — A van crashed into people drinking outside a popular bar Saturday in the German city of Muenster, killing two people and injuring 20 others before the driver of the vehicle shot and killed himself inside it, police said.

A top German security official said there was no indication of an Islamic extremist motive but officials were investigating all possibilities in the deadly crash that took place at 3:27 p.m. on a warm spring day.

Witnesses said people ran away screaming from the city square after the crash. Police quickly set up a large cordoned-off area for their investigation and ambulances rushed to the site.

Six of the 20 injured were in severe condition, according to police spokesman Andreas Bode.

Herbert Reul, the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia state, where Muenster is located, said the driver of the gray van was a German citizen. He stressed that the investigation was at an early stage but said "at the moment, nothing speaks for there being any Islamist background."

"We have to wait, and we are investigating in all directions," Reul said, adding that it was clearly not an accident.

Reul said two people were killed in the crash and the driver killed himself — lower than the earlier police toll of three dead plus the driver.

Police spokesman Peter Nuessmeyer told The Associated Press that he could not confirm German media reports that the perpetrator reportedly had psychological issues.

Bode told reporters that police were checking witness reports that other perpetrators might have fled from the van at the scene. Hours later, police spokeswoman Vanessa Arlt said "we didn't find anything (to those reports) but we're still investigating in all directions and not excluding anything."

Categories: EMS

4 Wounded, Shooter Dead in Shooting at YouTube Office

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 17:05

SAN BRUNO, Calif. (AP) — A woman opened fire at YouTube's headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area Tuesday, wounding four people before she shot and killed herself and prompted panic as employees hid and tried to flee, police and witnesses said.

Officers and federal agents swarmed the company's headquarters complex in the city of San Bruno as multiple 911 reports came in reporting gunfire.

San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini told reporters that the victims have gunshot wounds and were taken to hospitals.

A spokesman for San Francisco General Hospital says it received three patients. Spokesman Brent Andrew says a 36-year-old man was in critical condition, a 32-year-old woman was in serious condition and a 27-year-old woman was in fair condition.

The hospital was expecting more patients but Andrew did not know their conditions.

Television news footage showed people leaving the building in a line, holding their arms in the air for police to inspect as they were leaving the building. Officers patted down people to make sure none had weapons, and police vehicles surrounded the area

YouTube employee Vadim Lavrusik posted on Twitter that he heard gunshots and saw people running. He said he was barricaded in a room with his co-workers before being safely evacuated.

Will Hudson said a friend who works for YouTube texted him about the shooter.

"I think there might be a shooter in my building," read one text. "The fire alarm went off so we started to evacuate and then people (started) running saying there was a shooter."

Northern California's Stanford Hospital said it has received four to five patients, but a hospital spokeswoman did not have information on their conditions or their wounds.

Google, which owns the world's biggest online video website, posted on Twitter that the company is coordinating with authorities. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also said it responded to the shooting at YouTube's suburban campus.

Categories: EMS

Mudslide Losses Top $421 Million in Hard-Hit California Town

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 18:15

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than $421 million in claims have been filed since deadly mudslides tore through the coastal community of Montecito during extremely heavy January rains, California's insurance commissioner said Monday.

Insurers have received more than 2,000 claims for residential and commercial losses, commissioner Dave Jones announced. Those include $388 million for residential personal property, $27.2 million for commercial property and $6.7 million for auto and other lines of insurance.

Recently burned by California's largest recorded wildfire, the hillsides of Montecito northwest of Los Angeles could not absorb the rainstorm with an epic downpour of nearly an inch (2.5 centimeters) in 15 minutes early on Jan. 9.

"Once the rains hit, the water runs down, begins to take mud with it, and before you know it you have a 30 or 35-foot high wall of mud demolishing Montecito," Jones said.

Twenty-one people were killed and two remain missing.

The mudslide insurance claims come on top of California wildfire claims that topped $12 billion in 2017, making it the most expensive series of fires in state history, Jones said.

That exceeds the total insurance claims from the top 10 previously most costly wildfires in California. Most of last year's claims were connected to Southern California's fires in December and October's devastating blazes in wine country north of San Francisco.

Jones said he fears the staggering number of insurance claims represent a "new normal" for California.

"It used to be we could talk about a wildfire season. Now that's simply not the case. Wildfires are year-round, and Californians need to protect themselves accordingly," he warned.

In Montecito, 1,415 residences were damaged and 107 were destroyed, in some cases swept completely off their foundations, Jones said. Five commercial properties were demolished and 235 others suffered damage when torrents of water flowed down hills carrying mud, boulders and debris.

Categories: EMS

The BLAST Approach: Rethinking the Way We Approach MCI Triage

Sun, 04/01/2018 - 13:45

I’ve studied and taught mass casualty incident (MCI) care and response for 40 years and have found that students often get confused when tasked with memorizing rarely used triage processes or algorithms.

They easily grasp and master the difference between BLS and ALS, because they use these concepts daily. However, they often stumble when at the scene of a mass casualtyor active shooter incident, where they’re tasked with rapidly determining the category of seriously or mortally wounded patients.

When I train students, I explain how to perform triage as a simple modification of the daily BLS/ALS decision-making process.

I show them how to integrate these modifications with the simple triage and rapid treatment (START) approach to triage, the most commonly used triage system, which was developed in 1983 by staff of Hoag Hospital and from the Newport Beach (Calif.) Fire Department.1,2

The large number of variations in systems and tags further complicates a simple process, and may inadvertently add time to patient processing time. Photo Ryan Kelley

Teaching START Triage

START is a simple adaptation of the daily clinical assessment of patients and uses just a few key assessment categories. When I explain each category to students, I break it down and show each priority area and its individual components. Students understand and accept it.

Categories: EMS

EMS Response to the Mass Shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas

Sun, 04/01/2018 - 11:48


The Las Vegas media often refers to the night of October 1, 2017, as “that awful night,” but the night didn’t start out awful at all.

Dressed in cut-off jeans, flip-flops and cowboy hats, 22,000 moms, dads, kids and teens had all come out to enjoy the last of three full days of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, which featured performances by some of the top country-western singers, songwriters and entertainers.

Seated in lawn chairs and on picnic blankets, spectators covered a 15-acre fenced-in space in the Las Vegas Village area, which was made available by MGM Resorts International.

The outdoor concert was similar to the many other large-scale events for which Community Ambulance—one of Clark County, Nevada’s, 9-1-1 providers—regularly provides EMS medical standby services.

The company’s special event division, led by Glen Simpson, AEMT, offers medical services for more than 1.6 million spectators and participants every year. The growing list of events and venues include the National Finals Rodeo, the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, USA 7’s Rugby, House of Blues, PGA Tournament and Electric Daisy Carnival—North America’s largest music festival.

For the Route 91 Festival, Simpson and his staff of 16 had planned well, ensuring the crowd’s safe egress through six large gates located on the West, North and East sides of the Las Vegas Village venue.

The Clark County Fire Department, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), on-site security, as well as Live Nation Entertainment and MGM Resorts International—the festival’s promoters—were all in communications.

Categories: EMS

Care Under Fire: Understanding Negligence Principles in Mass Shooting Situations

Sun, 04/01/2018 - 10:09
Negligence principles in mass shootings

The Las Vegas shooting put many EMS providers directly in harm’s way, as bullets rained down indiscriminately on thousands of defenseless people. Dozens of EMS professionals from Community Ambulance were on scene covering the event, and, in a matter of moments, many other practitioners from responding agencies were there to administer care. The quick and selfless actions by these dedicated caregivers saved countless lives that tragic night.

Potential legal liability for the actions taken by EMS in this incident certainly wasn’t on anyone’s mind as dozens of professionals instinctively sprang into action to save lives.

But, what if you make a mistake? What if you don’t have enough supplies, equipment or adequate staff to handle the multiple casualties? What if you hesitate? These are questions that we may ponder when not engaged in the immediate response to a crisis like a mass shooting.

Can you get sued for your actions or inactions in this terrible situation? A claim for negligence could certainly be brought against you and your EMS agency. However, the law takes into account extreme circumstances that severely tax our ability to perform as we normally would.

The law is forgiving to those who respond.

Reasonable Conduct

Negligence is the area of tort law focused on the harm caused by one person against another person for failing to act in a reasonable manner.

The core concept of negligence is that people should exercise reasonable conduct in their actions by considering the potential harm that they might foreseeably cause.

Categories: EMS

Maryland School Shooting: Sheriff Releases Timeline and 9-1-1 Calls

Tue, 03/27/2018 - 10:31

GREAT MILLS, Md. (AP) — The student who fatally shot a female classmate last week at a Maryland high school died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a confrontation with a school resource officer who also fired his gun, authorities said Monday.

The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that 17-year-old Austin Rollins fired a fatal shot to his head just as he encountered sheriff's deputy Blaine Gaskill. The shot fired by Gaskill struck the gun in Rollins' hand, the sheriff's office added.

The shooting occurred last Tuesday at Great Mills High School, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) southeast of Washington. Jaelynn Willey, 16, died two days later after being taken off life support. Her funeral service is scheduled for Friday. The sheriff's office said Rollins and the girl had been in a relationship that recently ended.

Desmond Barnes, 14, who was shot in the thigh, was released from a hospital a day after the shooting.

New details released by the sheriff's office show how Rollins died. The sheriff's office also released a timeline of the incident and 911 calls from adults and students, including the 14-year-old who survived.

According to the sheriff's office, Rollins entered the main entrance of the school the day of the shooting about five minutes before he shot Willey in the head with his father's gun. The same bullet traveled into the leg of Desmond Barnes, who had sought shelter in a classroom.

Rollins then turned a corner and passed several classrooms before the confrontation with the school resource officer, which occurred about three minutes after shooting Willey, the sheriff's office said. Rollins and Gaskill fired their weapons about 30 seconds later.

In one of the 911 calls released, Barnes tells a dispatcher, "I was just shot in my school."

A woman, possibly a teacher, gets on the phone and tells the dispatcher that four students are inside her classroom, one of them shot and bleeding.

Categories: EMS

Manchester Attack Report: Confusion Kept Some Resources Away from Victims

Tue, 03/27/2018 - 10:22

LONDON (AP) — Firefighters were not allowed to go to the scene of the Manchester Arena bombing for more than two hours because of confusion about whether an attacker was still on the loose, according to a report released Tuesday.

Senior British civil servant Bob Kerslake, who headed the inquiry, said "a valuable resource was not available to assist at the scene" because fire service workers were "out of the loop."

A suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured scores more at an Ariana Grande concert on May 22 in Manchester. The report also criticized the media for the way journalists treated bombing victims.

According to the report, the first police officers were on the scene within one minute of the explosion, and more police and paramedics arrived soon after. But firefighters were kept away because the senior officer on duty mistakenly believed there was an "active shooter."

The inquiry panel said it was not able to determine whether quicker deployment of firefighters could have saved lives, saying only coroners can answer that. But it said lives were undoubtedly saved by a police duty inspector's decision to override protocol and let police and medics stay at the arena and treat the wounded, even though it was unclear whether more attacks would follow.

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham praised emergency workers for saving lives by taking "brave, common-sense decisions" rather than following protocol.

The report also called the media's behavior "troubling."

It said one journalist offered condolences to a child before the child had been officially told about the death of her mother in the attack. Journalists also sent gifts to victims in the hospital along with notes offering 2,000 pounds ($2,800) for information. Some also apparently impersonated a bereavement nurse and a doctor to get more information.

The report said the Manchester bombing victims and their families felt mercilessly "hounded" by the press.

Categories: EMS

Russian Shopping Mall Fire Kills 64; No Alarms Reported

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 10:45

MOSCOW (AP) — With the fire alarms silent and staff reportedly nowhere to be seen, a fire at a shopping mall packed with children and their parents on the first weekend of the school recess killed 64 people in Russia's Siberia.

The fire at the Winter Cherry mall in Kemerovo, a city about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, was extinguished by Monday morning after burning through the night. Firefighters were still recovering bodies as parts of the buildings were still smoldering. Some of the dead were found inside a cinema, which one witness said had been locked shut.

Investigators said Monday that emergency exits were blocked and a security guard turned off the public announcement system when he received a call about the blaze.

On Monday morning, Kemerovo residents were bringing flowers, candles and stuffed animals to a plaza outside the mall, and local hospitals reported an influx of people wanting to donate blood for the victims.

Sixty-four deaths were confirmed after the firefighters finished combing through the four floors of the mall, Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov told a televised briefing. Six of the bodies have not yet been recovered.

A group of firefighters walk near the scene of the multi-story shopping center after a fire, in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, about 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 26, 2018. Russian officials say a fire at a shopping mall in a Siberian city has killed over 50 people. The Ekho Mosvky radio station quoted witnesses who said the fire alarm did not go off and that the staff in the mall in Kemerovo did not organize the evacuation. (AP Photo)

Out of 17 victims whose bodies have been identified, eight are children, the emergency officials said.

Twelve people have been hospitalized. Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova, who visited the Keremovo hospital where the victims were receiving treatment, said on Russian state television that the patient in the gravest condition is an 11-year-old boy who jumped out of a window from the fourth floor. The boy's parents and younger sister died in the fire, Skvortsova said.

Categories: EMS

In Wake of Fla. Nursing Home Deaths, Gov. Scott Signs Bills Mandating Backup Power

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 10:42

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation Monday requiring backup power sources in Florida nursing homes and assisted living facilities, months after the deaths of several residents from a sweltering nursing home that lost power in a hurricane.

The legislation require the facilities to have a generator capable of keeping nursing homes and assisted living facilities at 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) or lower for at least four days. All of Florida's 685 nursing homes and 3,089 assisted living facilities must be in compliance by the June 1 start of hurricane season. State agencies can grant an extension until Jan. 1, 2019, for facilities that would face delays in installing equipment or need zoning or other regulatory approval.

"As we near hurricane season, families can now know the facilities responsible for caring for their loved ones will have the resources needed to be fully prepared ahead of any potential storms," Scott said in a statement.

Officials from the state's Agency for Health Care Administration, which oversees nursing homes, and the Department of Elder Affairs, which regulates assisted living facilities, did not have updated numbers on how many facilities were already in compliance. As of January, 108 nursing homes and 138 assisted living facilities had installed the necessary equipment.

"Florida faces an annual risk from Mother Nature, and these rules will help keep seniors safe during a possible devastating weather event or ... prolonged power outage," said Justin Senior, secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration.

The rule was originally issued by Scott, Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Elder Affairs following the deaths at the Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center after Hurricane Irma in September. The original rule stated that nursing homes and assisted living facilities had to be in compliance by Nov. 15 or face a fine of $1,000 per day. But a state administrative judge sided last October with nursing homes that had challenged the tight deadlines.

Categories: EMS