Federal, state, and local disaster-preparedness plans all emphasize the need for adequate medical support. But very little has yet been done to ensure that such support will in fact be available when it is actually needed.
U.S. medical system is the world's finest in many respects. However, few if any American hospitals are properly staffed & equipped to deal with this year's hurricanes, much less one or more new terrorist attacks that could cause thousands of casualties.
From the Black Plague through colonial days to SARS outbreaks, the practice of isolating infected people from the rest of society has been considered a necessary evil. It has not always been a helpful one, & healthcare professionals have paid the price.
The laws are in place, but are usually unenforceable. Transportation assets are available, but are almost always overcommitted. Clear mandates from local, state, & federal decisionmakers are obviously needed to restore order from the current chaos.
It used to be two strong men and a hearse. Modern EMS workers are now much better equipped to provide early lifesaving support both at the scene of an accident or incident and while en route to the nearest hospital or other medical facility.
The time is NOW to develop detailed plans for the implementation of the mutual-aid agreements without which almost all hospitals in any given area of the country will be forced to rely on stopgap measures--inadequate and too late--to cope with a major di
The latest Great Awakening terrorist strikes should serve not only as another warning but also as a spur to collective action, particularly by the nation's first-responder communities. First, though, there are a number of important questions that have to
Today's EMS community is a full partner on the nation's homeland-security first-responder team, but gets short shrift in funding, in representation at the White House and on Capitol Hill, and in media attention. One way to even out the playing field might be to establish a national office representing city, state, and federal EMS departments and agencies.