Sunday, August 10, 2014

SURVIVING AND HELPING AT MASS CASUALTY EVENTS

WHAT EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MASS CASUALTY EVENTS AND YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY TO RESPOND IF UNINJURED.

Photo: U.S. Department of Justice
                                                       


Editors note: We first published this after the bomb attacks in Boston. With ISIS and HAMAS openly threatening America again we had to expect that crowd drawing events would eventually be targeted. Such events and areas indeed have been so targeted, most notably and recently in Orlando.  If you are in the crowd when something happens and are not injured yourself, here are some practical things you can do.

 Since the events in Boston, we have noted in our IN THE NEWS segment of our daily station identification and notice board  that this was not a maritime event and we felt we had little to add; unless the perpetrator turns out to be both foreign and to have entered through a hole in our border control program which is as full of holes as Swiss Cheese. But most of us are ex-military, some Ex-Coast Guard, and one of us has been a volunteer fireman. Consequently we have a high level of interest in rescue operations. We have been on the scenes of fires, storms, explosions and other disasters and know that the general population can be a big help and the level of help that bystanders can be, can be improved. Enter, Kerry Patton.

 Kerry Patton is a disabled American combat veteran who wrote "CONTRACTED, America's Secret Warriors." and he is a blogger we follow. Shorty after the Boston incident he published a post on legal and moral responsibilities of uninjured by standers at events like what happened in Boston. Unfortunately, the links we originally posted to his post appear to have expired and the domain seems to be up for sale. As useful as Kerry Patton's advice was we'll have to forego those links and cut straight to our own idea.

  Let's combine the popularity of the fanny pack with preparedness. Terrorist are drawn to big crowd events like flies to sugar water. But there is no way that we should not attend marathons, fairs, football games, or popular night spots or shopping malls, etc. That would be surrender. 

 The terrorist have made every American a combatant. If you have had first aid training we have a suggestion for you, if you haven't we suggest that you take at least the Red Cross "First Responder" course and then follow our suggestion. Why not pack a fanny pack full of commercially prepared tourniquets,  pressure bandages, maybe inflatable "splints" for broken limbs whenever you attend a mass event? Go for gear with little packaging so if it has to go through security screening it will be easy to screen. Consider an open mesh type fanny pack that can be seen through. Maybe some one will take up this idea and market an open mesh fanny pack with a medical symbol on it. Plenty of these visible at crowded public events not only offer a chance to save more lives and limbs in the event of trouble, but they send a silent message to all those terrorist out there..."we are ready, we are determined, we will not give in." And don't forget those smart phones. Make it a point to take pictures. 

 Lets endow American crowds with deterrent value. Here is another suggestion, if you carry one of these first aid fanny packs to an event take your red cross wallet card or any other identification that you may have as a trained first responder or higher and put it in a plastic cover on a neck chain. In the event of an emergency put it around your neck and go to work. People will be more likely to listen , assist and follow your directions if you look somewhat official. The presence of a fair number of people obviously equipped and showing medical symbols instantly at work will have a calming effect on the crowd. Editor;s note: But always beware the "secondary device". Some terrorist attacks in Europe have featured a second device detonated when first responders arrive. That implies that perps were in the area and able to observe the response and remotely detonate the "Secondary device". MAYBE before moving into help pause a few seconds and use your I phone to take a series of 360 degree photos. This may help authorities later identify perps, and may serve to convince any lurking about for a secondary device that vacating the area might be smarter.  This is a hard call to make but you might need to avoid rendering immediate aid to individuals positioned near knapsacks or other things that might house explosives. After professional first responders appear , the more elapsed time they are on scene without a second device going off the less chance there is a secondary device. As time goes by the chances that suspicious objects near the wounded are diminishes. Stop, look and listen, then assist.  Whatever you do won't be perfect, but it will be immensely helpful. Keep in mind Kerry's advice. The professional first responders are on the way. Once they arrive, follow their directions. 

Johnas Presbyter

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