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Home > Topics > Mass Casualty Incidents
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EMS News in Focus
by Arthur Hsieh

What the Indy responders did right

By Arthur Hsieh

Editor's note: Praise (well-deserved, according to Art Hsieh) was given recently to the medics, firefighters, and police who responded to the stage collapse at the Indiana state fair last Saturday.

Here is one of the first reports of how the EMS system responded to the Indianapolis stage collapse earlier this week. It appears that the public safety providers did an excellent job during the response phase of the incident.

More importantly, the department leaders did even a better job prior to the concert, in terms of preplanning a disaster response and prestaging equipment and staffing "just in case" something happened — which it did in a major way.

In a previous column we reviewed the three Rs of Disaster response: Review, Rehearse, and React. No doubt the folks in Indianapolis do a bit of this on an everyday basis — it makes the management of chaos seem pretty easy.

We know better.

About the author

EMS1 Editorial Advisor Art Hsieh, MA, NREMT-P currently teaches at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. Since 1982, Art has worked as a line medic and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook author, has presented at conferences nationwide, and continues to provide patient care at an EMS service in Northern California. Contact Art at
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