Rapid Response: Preplanning, unified command proves essential during Pa. Turnpike MCI

Pennsylvania Turnpike crash underscores importance of MCI planning, unified command efforts and rehab services for long-duration events


First responders from Pennsylvania’s Westmoreland County, along with three surrounding counties, were stretched and strained on Sunday, Jan. 5, when a multiple-vehicle pileup on the Pennsylvania Turnpike left five dead and dozens hospitalized.

To learn more about the incident, as well as takeaways for fire and EMS personnel, I spoke with Captain Scott Graham, captain of Special Operations for Mutual Aid Ambulance Service (MAAS), who served as on-scene EMS commander; Todd Leiss, incident management team coordinator for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission; and Firefighter John Storey Jr. with the Youngwood (Pennsylvania) Volunteer Fire Department.

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