Hospital staff at MedStar say they’re prepared to take on hundreds of casualties should a mass shooting happen in the Baltimore area.
As emergency personnel raced to the victims’ sides Monday morning in Las Vegas, Eddie Johnson watched – thinking of his training,
“Would it be a pretty picture? No, it never is. However, I think we can do just fine,” Johnson, the director of safety and emergency preparedness for MedStar, said.
He says the devastation of dealing with hundreds of victims, while overwhelming, would be manageable --- but not without support.
“We’re as ready as you can be because obviously 400 people; that takes a lot of resources. With all hopes with 400 people, what’s supposed to happen is when an incident like that occurs, casualties are spread through the system,” Johnson said.
A system that’d involve all of the medical facilities in the MedStar health system and the medical staff inside, including Dr. Bernard Ravitz.
“If we had to be, we would. It’s a matter of opening up a box, which we have, where we can tag causalities as they show up at the triage area. We have practiced multiple triage areas, though we usually have one, but if we had 400 people showing up at our doorstep, we would’ve set up maybe two or three [triage areas],” Ravitz, a physician advisor at MedStar’s Good Samaritan Hospital, said.
Just one of what would be many triage stations throughout the city.
A complex web of communication that’s Johnson’s job to weave through.
“Emergency preparedness is accepted throughout the system. We have our corporate command center where everyone participates,” Johnson said.
An elaborate, yet, necessary plan that’d save lives – hundreds of them.