I would like to commend everyone involved with the motor vehicle accident south of Centerville on the morning of July 19.
I am grateful to live in a place where so many people can put aside all differences and work so well together towards the common goal of helping others.
As we all know, having seven injured patients at once can overwhelm even the best EMS systems, but instead everyone here cooperated to make this incident run smoothly to the benefit of the patients.
The dispatchers and the first few rescuers to arrive at the scene started things off well by quickly determining that there were multiple patients, alerting the ambulance and the hospital to this, and getting more help on the way. The next important thing to mention was that so many people came to help, many of those were volunteers. I felt that the dispatcher(s) did an amazing job dispatching and communicating with so many departments and officers all at the same time, as well as relaying traffic from the helicopter, etc.
Mercy Ambulance staff and SAC First Responders did an excellent job triaging patients and assigning the appropriate resources to each. The flawless sharing of equipment and personnel (as well as ambulances) made it possible for all patients to be treated quickly. Centerville Fire Department and law enforcement officers all did a wonderful job of controlling the scene, directing traffic, and assisting where ever needed, even after arriving at the hospital.
The ambulance crews and first responders gave excellent medical care and very appropriately recognized the seriousness of the situation. This care and attention was then continued flawlessly once the victims started arriving at the hospital. The ER nurse in charge had already “called in the cavalry” based on initial scene reports and had multiple nurses, a ward clerk, and all ancillary department staff ready and waiting when the patients began to arrive. When the ambulances pulled in they were all met by the doctor and/or a nurse to quickly assume care.
Patients were then quickly triaged again to decide who needed transferred on by air and in what order. Two patients were immediately flown to Des Moines and five patients were evaluated in our ER. One of those five was then flown to Des Moines after the initial evaluation in ER. Firemen and law enforcement continued to work at the hospital to assist with coordinating and securing landing zones for all three flight teams, as well as local and Des Moines dispatchers. Two flight teams from Mercy and one from Iowa Methodist were all very professional as they quickly assumed care of these patients and performed their duties to continue the excellent care that had been initiated here.
I have not mentioned names because there were so many involved that I couldn’t possibly name them all. But thank you to each and every one of you that helped in any way that morning.
Three serious and four potentially serious patients all had a good outcome because of the professionalism and teamwork that was displayed here by all of you. No one person could have done any of this without the help of such an excellent team.
We are truly blessed to live and serve in a community with such a wonderful group of dedicated volunteers and professionals.
Ronda S. Lamb, EMT-PS