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Report praises Boston EMS response to marathon bombing

Mass. Emergency Management agency report highlights triage and treatment actions of medical personnel in minutes after the 2013 terrorist attack

By Owen Boss
Boston Herald

BOSTON — The well-organized and versatile response by Boston medical personnel to the 2013 marathon bombings earned high praise in a report released yesterday that highlighted how quick-thinking doctors and paramedics worked seamlessly to save the lives of scores of critically wounded spectators.

“Although many patients sustained grave injuries, every patient who was transported to area hospitals survived,” the report released by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency read. “This can be directly attributed to the rapid triage, transport and treatment these patients received on scene and at hospitals.”

Boston EMT Walter Dunbar, who was among the first paramedics to arrive at the scene of the April 15 Boylston Street bombings, recalled how years of mass casualty incident training immediately kicked in and “everyone knew exactly what to do without being told.”

“We just started treating the critical patients, and getting them transported immediately. We just kept on treating and triaging until they were all gone,” Dunbar said. “The training is so integrated into our system so that if you ever need it — and you never know when you will — it just kicks in. Luckily, all of our EMTs and paramedics are highly skilled and highly trained and did a hell of a job that day.”

The report also praised the medical personnel who were in tents at the finish line to treat runners who had completed the race.

“On the day of the bombings, medical personnel supporting Alpha Tent near the Finish Line immediately transitioned to a mass casualty response. They established triage and treatment groups and designated the tent as a casualty collection point,” the report read. “All critically injured patients were transported to area hospitals within 50 minutes.”

After Action Report For The Response To The 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings

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