The Fifth District Medical Response Coalition (5DMRC) is committed to supporting regional health resources such as hospitals, a variety of healthcare organizations and emergency medical services providers to prepare and respond to a variety of disasters and mass casualty incidents in lower southwest Michigan.
The Many Cogs of the Wheel in Region 5
Early Saturday morning, Region 5 staff were among the many participants that assisted, and supported the efforts of Responders, to an apartment fire in Kalamazoo. Multiple fire and public safety agencies, Kalamazoo Metro buses, the American Red Cross, hospital case managers and the YMCA of Kalamazoo were among the many Responders. A fire originating in an apartment at the high rise structure forced the evacuation of many elderly, frail and physically compromised residents, requiring evacuation down several flights of stairs under dark, smokey and wet conditions. Many evacuees were dressed in pajamas and had only socks on their feet. Region 5 staff had the privilege of supporting Responders by deploying the Region’s rehab vehicle to the scene and assisting with the set-up and initial coordination and registration of over 100 residents transported to the shelter set up by Red Cross staff at the Kalamazoo YMCA. The efforts of many, from the medical support provided by the WMU School of Medicine emergency medicine physicians, EMS Fellows and Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority, to the staffing of the shelter by Life EMS paramedics to provide needed emergency medical services for the duration of the shelter operations; the “stepping up” of staff from Medilodge and Bronson hospital and the support and facilitation of retrieving necessary medications and medical equipment from the damaged apartment building by Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers are prime examples of the quality of our Region’s response. Many, many other organizations called to offer support and assistance. The Kalamazoo community is blessed with resources and kindness. Much of the evacuation equipment, and of course the Coalition’s response is supported by the preparatory activities of the 5th District Medical Response Coalition–thanks to all for continued commitment and preparation.
Mass Fatalities Planning and Response for Rural Communities
Today, instead of the regularly scheduled 5DMRC meeting, our region hosted a FEMA program, AWR-232, Mass Fatalities Planning and Response for Rural Communities. This workshop was arranged by our regional public health partners as a follow-up activity to this past spring’s well attended Mass Fatality Symposium. Sixty participants spent a full day listening to seasoned instructor, Arbie Goings, who traveled to Michigan to present the program. Mr. Goings’ experience spans responses to several mass fatality incidents, including hurricanes, (Katrina and Gustav among them) the Haiti earthquake, and a plane crash. We will return to our normal 5th District meeting schedule on December 13, 2016 at 08:30am and will be doing a modified Training and Education Planning Workshop for Region 5. Thank you to those from Region 5 that spent the day learning about the various components of response to Mass Fatality events!
Great Participation In Child Disaster Services Volunteer Workshop in Kalamazoo
Nearly 40 participants attended an overnight workshop on September 30-October 1, 2016 to be trained to respond to assist children during disasters. Sponsored by 5dmrc in conjunction with outstanding trainers Kathy Howell and Katie Nees from Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) with support from Bronson Child Life Specialist, Kristy Woodwyk, everyone gained insight as to what their role would be if deployed to set up support for children after a disaster. Many thanks to the Red Cross for providing cots to sleep on and to the “old” and new 5th District partners that attended!!
Not!! Standardized Patients from Western Michigan University School of Medicine; Emergency Medical Services (EMS) students from Kalamazoo Valley Community College and other community members spent a portion of a day this week serving as mock patients in a mass casualty incident simulation as a component of Advanced Disaster Life Support training for Emergency Medicine Residents preparing for EMS field response. Kudos to these fabulous actors for their contribution to this excellent training.
Regional Partners Busy During the Summer
Throughout the summer, 5th District partners support numerous events by providing medical services and injury/illness prevention activities. Region 5 equipment is also deployed to many events throughout the summer. Seen here at the B-93 Birthday Bash are a Borgess Medical Center medical team along with Western Michigan University School of Medicine Emergency Medicine physicians who provided aid to tens of thousands (!) of spectators at the event. Also deployed was the Region’s Rehab vehicle, which provided cooling and support for public safety personnel that also worked at the busy venue. This is just the beginning of a busy summer ahead!
Services We Provide
The 5th District MRC is dedicated to not only our coalition members, but the citizens we all serve as well. We accomplish this with educational opportunities for our members and their constituents, as well as grant funding for preparedness efforts. Register now for upcoming courses sponsored by the district via our registration page.
Advanced Disaster Life Support is now in full swing! Please contact our NDLS Page for more information regarding upcoming courses. Current course offerings can be found on the registration page of our website.