Thursday, December 15, 2005
The Goat Rape
I know it's getting longer and longer between post, but my excuse is not much as been going on that is blog-worthy. Well until the other day. I learned that my little city on the east coast is one of the top cites on the vunerable lists for attacks, due to the fact we have the 2nd largest port on the east coast (NYC, I want to say is the largest, maybe Savannah, or Boston), we also have a Navel Weapons Training center and a large Air Force base. We also have the largest Cable stay bridge in North America. I learned this because we had a "surprise" county-wide Haz-Mat WMD terrorist drill. But let's call it what it really was... a big ol' fashion goat rape., as most of these type of drills are known as. Now I know it's kinda supposed to be so that emergency responders know what the weaknesses are and how they can fix them before the Big One happens, but shouldn't be a Surprise type of thing. We already had six ambulances ready and running before it started, as were the Special Ops teams already on suited up. In real life none of this would be ready. What I think should of happened is that yes tell us a drill is going to take place sometime during the day, have the special Ops teams on stand-by, But have that the only information that is released. Not the times, not the places, just that it's going to happen at some point. Then when it starts, do the ring down of the teams and other emergency workers to staff the medical, fire and police vehicles needed. That way the response times of getting the response vehicles, trailers and busses 10-8 and ready can be recorded somewhat realistically. But what do I know, Im just a paramedic. SO it started and first thing right off was that the dispatcher (who did a wonderful job, even though she is a part-timer who normally plays in the streets as a paramedic) received wrong information on where the first incident was so they sent us, the medical support, to stand-by at one location to wait for fire and port authorities to "clear" our scene and set up the zones and Fire got sent to a totally different location. It took almost 30 minutes to clear up that there was, at this point, only one incident. Not our fault, not fires fault, not even the dispatchers fault. It was the fault of one person who gave the wrong info to us. So we got that cleared up and we were sent to the right place. Now all the while the mix-up is being fixed two more "incidents" happened at two more locations so we were being dispatched to all of these different locations. From what we got on the street, the different accidents were to train the different agenties what they were supposed to do. One was to train the Fire department, One for the Medical teams, and one was more aimed toward police and SWAT. I was at the Fire's Haz-Mat incident. So we really did not have patients per-say (we had like two) but we were to do the entry and exit exams for the Fire department. So the senario was that a container at the port had been dropped, was smoking and leaking something and the the port people had readings of radiation and explosives. Not many injuries of bystanders (like I said two), this was more geared toward the fire's HazMat response. Now the fire guys were actually suited up in there HazMat gear, were on SCBAs and the whole thing so entry and exit exams needed to be done. The fire department we were working with, unlike most of the department were work with, has a problem working with EMS. SO They had already suited up an were working before we could do our exams. Then when they were told nobody else could go into the hot zone without exams, they bitched and complained. I had one guy yell at me because he was extremely hypertensive and I told him that he would not be allowed into the hot zone. "Look," I told him "Its' not my call, its your chief's call, I was given a max number for blood pressures, I am not allowed to clear you when you pressure is in the 220s, you should have taken you Pressure meds or something. Don't bitch at me, its not my call." He carried on about being up for promotions and why was I not keeping any one else out, bitch, bitch,bitch, blah, blah,blah. I did have to keep tow more out, but they both were like "Hot damn, I hate wearing those fucking suits anyways" So I finished my entry exams and when it came time to do the exits I had three, three of the forty domething fire guys come back to me for their exit exams. WTF, IM NOT STANDING HERE FOR MY HEALTH YOU DUMB BASTARDS. I standing here for yours. If one of those guys had collasped or something, it would have been my head. I didn;t really know what the other incidnets were, I know one was a tanker overturned with "green stuff" leaking from it and there was some dirty bomb detonated at another site. From what I understand, the other sites had their share of problems, but we also found solutions to a lot of them. So, Al and All, by EOC's standard it was a successful drill. Other than the late lunch, lack of bathrooms ( at least ones that you didn't have to walk through the hot zones to get too) and some other minor problems, the public was told it was a positive drill. Now ask some of the responders and you might get a different story. But these things are supposed to be a fucking nightmare anyways.