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EMS News in Focus
by Arthur Hsieh

Calif. quake: Behind AMR's EMS response

System received over 35 calls for service over the next four hours, the equivalent of a normal 24 hour shift

By Art Hsieh
EMS1 Editorial Advisor

NAPA, Calif. - EMS crews in the Napa Valley region were jolted from their normal overnight operations by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake that struck the region at 0320 hours. According to American Medical Response - Napa Operations Manager Mark Reeves, the system received over 35 calls for service over the next four hours, the equivalent of a normal 24 hour shift.

Included in the call volume was a sudden cardiac arrest, of which return of spontaneous circulation was achieved, and a pediatric patient critically injured by falling debris.

AMR immediately implemented their callback system and had up staffed five additional ambulances with thirty minutes of the event. Through the local office of emergency services, 10 mutual aid ambulances were requested from neighboring Sonoma, Solano and Contra Costa counties.

Many were used to transfer patients from Queen of the Valley Hospital, which sustained damage to its operations.

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
The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Mark Fraser Mark Fraser Sunday, August 24, 2014 11:52:07 AM Boy that's stone great advertising for AMR. Considering how they handled L.A. and O.C. contracts back in 2007 and the lay off of 500 employees they could use the good press...
Mark Fraser Mark Fraser Sunday, August 24, 2014 11:53:42 AM Sorry "some" not "stone"
Nicht Dienstag Nicht Dienstag Monday, August 25, 2014 8:14:58 AM Sounds like Mark or one of Mark's friends/relatives is a little bitter.
Bill Bower Bill Bower Monday, August 25, 2014 5:01:05 PM The problem with LA and OC is That it is LA and OC.
Klaus Larsen Klaus Larsen Tuesday, August 26, 2014 4:32:58 PM I'm definitely bitter, Nicht dienstag. amr closed the Marin operations and laid off 35+ emts and medics, including myself. Union busting at its finest.
Dave Adams Dave Adams Tuesday, August 26, 2014 5:32:12 PM AMR wants one thing... WORLD DOMINATION...
Doug Fenichel Doug Fenichel Tuesday, August 26, 2014 6:28:59 PM I don't know about union busting, world domination or local politics, but I do know that it sounds like AMR and its employees did a heluva job under trying conditions and for that I congratulate them.
Ian R Frankel Ian R Frankel Wednesday, August 27, 2014 9:09:37 PM 35 calls in 24 hrs? Is that supposed to be a lot?

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