Disaster response kits for patrol officers is the topic of the day. As a police officer, you need to have a disaster response kit for your patrol car. What is it and what do you put in it are part of today’s podcast.
Although this podcast was inspired by the horrific tornadoes that swept through the southern United States, the disaster response kit is something every police officer should have. From California mud slides to midwest flooding, and hurricanes in Florida to earthquakes in Japan, all of us may have to respond to large disasters. Having a kit with some sustainment items will make sure we can do our job and stay safe while doing it.
DeWalt 3D LED Flashlight – In the podcast I think I said I had published a review on this light here at BlueSheepdog. Actually, I published the review at my GunsHolstersAndGear blog. Sorry for the confusion. It is a great light that I still have and use. It is one of the best inexpensive lights I own.
Blue Sheepdog Podcast 20
Richard: Hi everybody. Welcome back to the Blue Sheepdog Podcast. My name is Richard. We’re at Episode number 20 today, and we’re going to talk a little bit about disaster kits. What you need to put together for you to go on patrol in the middle of some type of disaster.
Before we get to all that though, I do want to make sure that I mentioned that anybody that’s just listening to podcast, and maybe found us through iTunes, definitely check out our website, bluesheepdog.com.
There are a lot of additional information on the website. There are a lot of things that we post about training articles and news articles, different things that are going on that never make into podcast, but there are a lot of great information there. So check that out.
Also in the website, you can sign up for our newsletter. The newsletter is going to have a lot of information, some training articles, different things that aren’t necessarily going to be on the regular website. It’s going to be like an addition or a bonus that we’re going to try out, put together in a newsletter form. The first newsletter goes out next week, so make sure you go ahead and sign up for that.
Also, if you are listening to us via iTunes, I really would appreciate it if you went over to the iTunes store and left us some type of review. Obviously, a five-star, “This guy is great” review is welcome. But any kind of review is welcome as long as, obviously, it’s a fair and honest review.
If you do have any problems with the show, sound quality, or you think that maybe some of the advice I’m giving isn’t quite up to what you think it ought to be. I really would hope that you would shoot me an e-mail, [email protected]. Let me know what’s going on, and let me try to correct whatever problems there are that, maybe I’m just not aware of.
Also, you can connect with me on Twitter, and the Twitter account is BlueSheepdog. And you can also hook up with us at Facebook, and at Facebook we are sheepdogmedia, that’s sheepdogmedia. And as I mentioned before, e-mail is [email protected]. Any questions, comments, concerns, shoot me an e-mail.
All right, so today I want to talk a little bit about a disaster kit, something that you have, available to you for doing your job, police work, patrol work in a disaster. Disasters really can happen at anytime without any kind of warning.
The perfect example is the earthquake and following tsunami in Japan recently. You live in an earthquake prone area, you don’t know when the next one is coming, and you certainly don’t know that there’s going to be this monstrous tsunami that follows afterwards. So, that’s pretty much without warning.
Here in the state of Florida, we have hurricanes, of course. And usually with hurricanes, we got some sort of warning and preparation, but then there are other disasters that can happen that we have no warning for, whether it’s a tornado, or maybe there’s some type of train disaster — a train overturns, and now, you’ve got chlorine gas that’s leaking into an area. We’ve got nuclear plants here. What happens if one of those was to have a radiation leak, or we have a meltdown or something like that? So these are all types of disaster that can come up.
As I am recording this, there has been an outbreak of tornados across the southern United States. Right now, looking at, it looks like there’s at least 200 confirmed dead across multiple states. Tornados that started and continued throughout the day and into the evening just absolutely devastating; and if you’re in Georgia, and you saw the tornados hitting in Alabama, okay, you’ve got a little bit of preparation.
There’s a possibility of a tornado coming, but tornados are very unpredictable things. They can show up anywhere, and do a lot of damage, a little damage. They can be big, they can be small. You don’t know where they’re going to go. So, again, the disaster is going to be somewhat unpredictable. Even if you know the storm front is heading toward you area, you don’t know if you’re going to get damage. If you do get damage, how much, how wide spread is it? You know, it’s very unpredictable.
Things like mutual aide are really helpful in a disaster. They are what help, keep us available to respond to all sorts of life threatening emergencies. But the problem is it’s what happens when your disaster covers multiple jurisdictions.
Again, talking about the tornados that started yesterday, you’ve got tornados are ripping through multiple counties and multiple cities. How beneficial is mutual aid when you’ve got a tornado that comes for your town, but so does your neighboring town?
Suddenly, mutual aid is, is not as, it’s, it’s not the instinct here that perhaps we’ve planned for sometimes when dealing with disasters. Yeah, help is coming, but it maybe coming from multiple counties away.
Or maybe coming from the next state depending on how widespread the disaster is. Or your mutual aid, maybe National Guard’s been called up, and God bless the National Guard does wonderful things, but they’re not an instant response force because those are folks from your community, they are dealing with the disaster on a personal level that are now being called up, so they have to make their way to whatever they’re going to muster; and then, head out to provide assistance. So that’s, that’s going to be something that may take some time.
Well, what I’m going to talk about a little bit is having a disaster kit for work. And a disaster kit, in my mind, is not going to be what we sometimes think of as a bug-out bag or a get home bag.
A bug-out bag, a get home bag, or just as bare essentials that you need to get immediately out of a very bad situation; something that maybe just the basic sustainment items for, maybe 24 hours for you and your family to kind of bug-out of the situation, or if you get stuck somewhere to get home.
The disaster kit for work, though in my mind is something that’s going to be a little more inclusive; something that can sustain you for several days as you work out of your patrol car. I know that all of our departments may have plans for a disaster, where they’re going to be able to feed you, and get you water, and offer you some shelter, and all these things. And that’s great, it really is, and sometimes that works out. But a lot of times, it doesn’t.
What happens if one of those tornados comes through and it wipes out your shelter? And there goes all the department’s food, water and staging area. What are you going to do, then?
Or what happens if that’s not the case, but you’re one into the county. The shelters at the other end of the county and the roads are blocked with down trees and everything else. You’re not going to be able to get over there, and you’re going to have to rely on yourself, and on what surrounds you in the community. But if your community is suffering from a disaster, they’re not necessarily going to be able to help you. You’re going to be there to help them.
So again, the disaster kit, in my mind, is something that is going to be able to sustain you for several days on end.
Now most of you know, I do work here in the state of Florida. And here in the Florida, we got these hurricanes and we, at our department, I imagine most departments have a policy regarding officers having kind of a hurricane preparedness kit. Because whenever a hurricane is coming to the area, you know you’re going to have to be called in to duty, even if it’s vacation time, or whatever else for you. All that gets cancelled and you’re coming in to work.
So you got to shelter your families, send them off, or shelter them in place and then off to work you go. And you’ve got to bring with you certain equipment — extra uniforms, and everything that you’re going to need for three to five days of work. And the plan is, is you’re going to be at work for that period of time.
Chances are you may be there a lot longer depending on where the hurricane comes in and how bad the damage is. But for any kind of disaster, I think that having one of these bags put together ahead of time is, is a good idea.
Now as far as the bag, generally speaking, I’m thinking a bigger bag for these types of things is better than a smaller bag. Again, we’re not talking about a bug-out bag. We’re talking about something that’s going to sustain you for a period of days.
And for this, I prefer a big backpack, something like a military surplus backpack that you can pick up. They’re not cheap, but if you can get a surplus backpack for about $50, that’s actually going to be a really well-designed and pretty sturdy bag, certainly going to be cheaper than if you go out, and try to find yourself a really big nice Maxpedtion or a 511 bag or something.
And again, we’re not trying to blend into the environment or anything else. I mean, it’s obvious, we’re in a disaster. We’re the police, so something that looks all tactical is perfectly acceptable; and that can be towed in the thing around anyway. You’re going to carry it basically, from your house to your trunk. Keep it in your trunk. You may carry that inside a shelter.
But again, it’s not something you’re going to be wearing for any extended period of time, or at least I would hope not. So something big, they can hold a lot of stuff. They can organize a lot of things, and in my mind it’s the best way to go for something like this.
So, what do you carry in it? Well, you can carry a lot of different things in it, and depending on where you are, and depending on your season, and depending on what kind of disaster as you can reasonably expect. You may want to carry some different things. So I cover some things that I have in my bag that I think are kind of applicable across the board.
First thing is water. You cannot survive without water. That’s just the basic fundamental fact, and you cannot, in a disaster situation, anticipate that there will be water available to you. Water in your area maybe contaminated due to waterline that’s been broken or flooding or any other number of things.
And you also can’t expect that you will be able to walk into a convenient store, and buy some water. And, as I mentioned a few minutes ago, you may be in a remote area, and you’re just not able to get back to a command post or to your department or your staging area to get water for yourself.
So, first thing is you have to have water. And you may want to carry a little bit more water than you think you would normally need. Because if you’re out and you’re doing hard work and you’re trying to rescue people from a collapsed building, or your trying to assist fire fighters, or whatever the case maybe, you’re going to dehydrate a lot quicker due to hard work or heat or whatever you’re doing.
The more work you’re doing, the more water you need. Something to keep in mind is Gatorade or Powerade or some of these different sports drinks. Those are good, but they should not be a replacement for water. If you’ve ever done some pretty hard intensive work, whether it’s a military exercises or a SWAT training or something like that, you’ve got a bunch of gear on and everything else.
If you listened to the folks that have been through it before, if you listened to your instructors, you’ll hear them talk about you’re not supposed to drink just straight Gatorade. You mix it half and half of water, you want a very thin mixture of that Gatorade.
So a 50% Gatorade solution, if you will, is likely the best thing if you want to drink some sports drinks. Because they really do, they do provide some electrolytes and other things you need. But if you just do those, you’re actually going to do your body a little bit of harm because you’re dumping too much electrolytes into your system and not enough water. And it’s going to throw your body chemistry off.
And the last thing you want in a disaster is for you to become a victim because you’re out drinking the wrong thing. Close with water, of course, is going to be food. I recommend for a disaster, nothing fancy, keep some MREs in your bag.
Yeah, MRE is not the best food in the world to eat, but they are food and they are pretty good for calorie content. So they can keep you alive in a disaster. If you’re out on your own or pretty much on your own, for a day or two, the MREs are going to keep you alive.
If it’s much more than a day or two, and you probably are going to get a little tired of the MREs, but hopefully by, then some of your department resources are coming in to play, and maybe they can get to you a cold sandwich or something by then.
But, also in addition to the MREs, I recommend that you keep some non-perishable snack items in there, things like, granola bars, maybe some hard candy. Avoid anything that’s going to melt. I know that there are a lot of granola bars out there that have chocolate syrup on them, or these other things. I would stay completely away from those.
When I say granola bars, I mean, like the hard, crunchy ones. Because those things you can pretty much keep in your trunk all the time. They’re not going to melt on you. They’re going to be reasonably tasty when you need it. And if you’ve got a bottle of water, and one of those – that’s easy if you wolf [??] down pretty quick, give you a little bit of energy, and keep you in the efforts.
Hard candy is also good. Again, we’re trying to melt something like a — peppermints, or like, I don’t know, something like, maybe a Jolly Rancher kind of thing, something you can throw in your mouth. Yeah, it may help you with little fresh breath because after a couple of days out, you probably haven’t brushed your teeth a whole lot. Just simple things like that, kind of, it’s a creature comfort, but it can really make a big difference to you.
The next thing that I keep in my bag, I strongly suggest you keep in your bag, is heavy work gloves. We’re talking about disaster, I don’t know what kind – it maybe a tornado, it maybe a flood, or tsunami, or whatever, but, and a lot of disasters you wind up with debris, and structure damage, a broken glass, charge of metal. You want some heavy work gloves.
Getting out there, and getting cut with a piece of glass, or a piece of metal, or something like that, is never fun. It hurts. It sucks. And a lot of times, it also requires stitches, or tetanus shot, or other things.
Well, if you can avoid that, obviously, you’re going to be more effective in doing your job. Plus, if you go and get yourself cut, and you’re not able to get to some place they can soothe through you. How long are you going to walk around with that, that open wound in your hand.
Yeah, you can bind it up a little bit using some of your first aid gear. And you can pour some rubbing alcohol in it to try to keep it sanitized. And I’m sure that rubbing alcohol, in an open wound, probably will feel really good.
But it’s a lot easier to avoid that, if you can. So I recommend having at least two pair of heavy work gloves in there. Let’s face it. You want a back up for everything – you carry a back up pistol, you want to pack a pair of gloves. You never know if you, maybe somewhere, and someone comes to help you out, whether it’s another officer, a citizen, whatever.
And you may want to hand them a second pair of gloves, so they can help you more effectively. Or your first pair of gloves, maybe gets soaked in oil, or soaked in water, or whatever. And now, you don’t want to use them. They need to dry out, or they’ve been contaminated with blood, or who knows what? Having a second pair allows you to continue using gloves even if the first pair become unusable.
Kind of along those lines, you want to bring extra socks, extra underwear — if lot of disasters, unfortunately, involve water, whether it’s flooding or rain, or whatever the case maybe, tsunamis –
And you may be different; but for me, out working, I hate walking around in wet socks. And if you’re out there for 24 hours, 48 hours, and you walk around in wet socks, it sucks to life sucks. I mean, your feet get ousterabled [ph] up, and everything. It is, [expletive], it’s not fun. So I highly recommend having not just one, not just two, but – bring yourself a few extra pairs of socks.
Then what I’ve done is, is you can go get those space bags, or you can get like a vacuum sealer, or even, it’s kind of the cheap way of doing it, get yourself like a zip locked bag. And you stuff your socks in there. You roll it up tight, squeeze all the air out, and if you can, and it helps kind of keep the socks compacted.
Yeah, one of those vacuum sealers, that’s where to go. Throw yourself a couple of pair of socks – and vacuum seal that thing, and it shrinks it right down. Kind of along in the same line, toilet paper — Yeah, it’s another creature comfort, but if you’re head on your own for a while, you may not have access to toilet paper.
And contrary to what some of the big time hunters in green berets may tell you, leaves in the woods is not fun. So again, and the reason why I bring it up now is because what I’ve done with toilet paper. I’ve taken a roll of toilet paper. I’ve taken the center cardboard too bad of it, vacuum sealed it, and now it’s in a nice small tight package. It’s waterproof should I get rained on. And it’s also very compact. When I need it, just cut it open with a knife and we’re good to go.
Kind of a long on the lines at the socks, you may want to bring extra pairs of underwear. One of the things that I definitely recommend is an extra pair of boots. Now, I wear a waterproof boots on duty. A lot of guys don’t, whatever. That’s your choice, what are you feel comfortable with.
But even waterproof boots are going to get wet if you walked through on anything that is flooded out. You step into a flooded ditch. Those waterproof boots are not doing any good because all that water’s going in right over the top.
So having a second pair of boots is a good idea. And if nothing else, you can keep the first pair, try to get those dried out while you’re wearing the second pair. And if you’ve been out somewhere, you’ve gotten wet, you’re muddy, you’re nasty — putting on a fresh pair of socks and a dry pair of boots can make a big difference to your morale, to your mindset.
Now, depending on your agency, you may have alternative uniforms for inclement weather or disaster situations. For example, my department authorizes in hurricanes and certain other disasters that we can wear BDUs.
And what we have is we have BDU pants and very obnoxious t-shirts that identify us as police officers. And they are much more comfortable, and some might even agree much more practical than the standard uniforms that we wear.
If you have such a policy with your department, and if you’re allowed to do those, then you may want to go and pack those into your disaster kit. I actually don’t have those in my disaster kit. I’ve got in my locker at work, I’ve got a couple of pairs and then at the house, I’ve got a couple of pairs.
So if I know there’s a problem, I can grab the stuff from the house, take it with me. If I’m at work when a disaster happens, hopefully at some point, I can get back to the station. But at the end of the day, if I can just put on a clean pair of socks and boots, I’ll deal with the rest of the uniform, let it get a little torn up or a little wet or whatever, hell, it’s — I’ll deal with that.
But, if you have those options available to you, maybe something you want to consider, something else, though is a dust mask, kind of goes with the work gloves, if you are trying to pull people out of debris.
You don’t know what maybe in that debris, whether it’s just fibreglass insulation. It could be an older home with some asbestos. Maybe you’re working in an industrial area and quite frankly, you don’t know what you’re dealing with in those areas.
Having a dust mask does, if nothing else, it keeps the large particles from getting into your system. You look at our brothers and sisters that, or at the 911 disaster up in New York. Say disaster, I mean terrorist attack, but they’re up there dealing with the collapse of those buildings.
And a lot of them wound up, inhaling a lot of particle debris. Now, we can talk about some of these stuff maybe was or was not hazardous, or whatever. But the fact to the matter is this, inhaling the stuff, even if it’s just dirt, is detrimental to your system.
So having the particle mask or the dust mask coming in, you can get those at a Home Depot. You can get them at Walgreens or wherever. Having some of those — and they’re cheap. Having some of those in your bag that you can use, you can hand off to your partner to use, or some citizens that are helping you or whatever. They’re cheap, and they are effective with most of the stuff that will wind up dealing with.
Kind of following the same train of thought, you need to have some goggles or some type of safety glasses, some type of eye protection. A lot of those I know wear some sunglasses that are balistically rated. They’re designed to stop fragments, and everything, and that’s great. But what happens if you’re — you’ve got your sunglasses, and it’s dusk. Well, the sunglasses are probably reducing your ability to see, and, yet you’re trying to rescue somebody, you’re dealing with some different debris that you don’t want getting into your eyes.
So having some plain, just clear safety glasses, or some goggles, or something, is definitely a good investment. Again, it’s cheap. Your department may issue you such things for shooting off on the range, so you may already have some. Or swinging into a Lowe’s, or a Home Depot, or something will definitely get those for you also. You don’t have to get all the kind of fancy and everything with these, just something to protect your eyes.
Something else that you want to have, if you don’t have already are maps of the surrounding jurisdictions. In the event of a disaster, you may have to go in to surrounding jurisdictions to assist them.
So if you don’t know that area, which, chances are you’re not going to know it as well, as if you worked the area. You’re going to need some type of map or maps for those surrounding cities or counties.
Because when you hopped on their frequency, and they tell you that – you need to go to a particular location, and you’ll be able to figure out how to get there. So having those maps ahead of time is a definitely a good idea.
Also, you want to have a small amount of cash on hand, and in small bills, having a couple of $50 bills is not going to help you very much. Whereas if you had just $50, and $1 and $5, maybe because you don’t know, again, how long are you going to be on your own, about getting any assistance from the department.
So if you have to pull in somewhere, you find a gas station that’s open, you may have to pay them to pump some gas, and they may have a manual pump, but the electricity is also, they can’t run a credit card.
Or the lines may be down, so they can’t run a credit card. But if you have some cash, maybe you can get yourself $10 or $15 worth of gas, and keep your patrol car going. Or again, the place is open, and you can go in there, and get your – restock yourself on some water and some snacks.
So again, having the cash, cash talks, whereas if you got a credit card, and they have no way of running that credit card, that’s not going to do you any good. Few other things to think about, batteries, if you’re like me, you’ve got a couple of rechargeable flashlights on your duty belt. And those are great, but when the charger, or when the battery runs dead on you, unless you happen to have a charger with you, you’re not going to be able to charge that battery, or charge those batteries back up. So there are flashlights now are basically clubs of varying sizes.
If on the other hand, you keep some type of like a diesel, or a c-cell flashlight in your bag, and keep some extra batteries for it, you can kind of stay in the game a little bit. I actually have a relatively inexpensive flashlight made by the Wall.
And it’s nothing fancy, ‘doesn’t look like anything fancy, but it’s a sturdy flashlight. It’s got some motorings in it, so — and a light rain, or something like that, you’re not going to get a bunch of water in it. And I think it holds three d-cell batteries. And it’s really like some of the old bag lights we’re used to carry.
But I’m telling you right now, the LED light on it is super bright. And for a relatively inexpensive flashlight, that thing would really throw us out a lot of light. I actually did a review for that flashlight some time ago. And things still are running great. I’ll link to the previous review on the web page.
Something like that is going to do you a lot of good because it’s going to be as bright, or close to as bright as maybe your regular duty lights, but it’s something you can run off D batteries. So if you’re first set goes dead, I mean, you got a little bit of that extra cash, maybe you can buy some batteries at a store that may be open. Or you can bump some from a citizen that maybe has some extra, or whatever the case maybe. But at least you still have light.
And speaking of batteries, if you don’t already have one, I recommend you get one. But having a cell phone charger for your patrol car is a good idea. I think that most guys have one but if you don’t have one, get one.
You don’t know what communications may be affected in a disaster. You may or may not have radio contact, and you may or may not have cell phone contact. But if you’ve got a cell phone and a radio, that gives you twice the chance of being able to contact other people if you need too. Also, a cell phone that you’ve got some power too even if the cell tower is down, you still are going to have all your contact information in there.
So if you can get to a landline somewhere, you can still call your relatives, or call friends, or whoever you may have in your contact, your address book. You also — What I would recommend is having a small cleaning kit, so you can keep your gun and other equipment maintained.
You again, you don’t know, but a lot of times in a disaster, you may wind up getting wet, or you may wind up going into a dusty dirty area. And your gun, your handcuffs, your taser, your backup — all these things are going to wind up getting wet or getting grime, or getting mud, and you’re going to have to keep those things clean.
In a disaster, we’re thinking about rescuing people and assisting people, but you also have to stay aware that there are bad people abound [??]. And just because you’re there trying to help somebody in disaster situation doesn’t mean there’s not still going to be, you know, a robbery or somebody that’s going to nod up, and try to shoot you, whatever else. And having a muddy gun is not a good thing.
So you got to be able to take care of your equipment, keep that clean. And thinking along those same lines, having an extra box of ammo for all your different firearms is a good idea also. Chances are, that if you’re like me, you probably already have extra ammo in the car.
But if you don’t go ahead and get some, it’s not so much for this case that you’re thinking of being in a barricaded situation where you’re having a fight off to somebody hordes [??]. It’s more like what happens if you are working a flood and you stepped into a ditch and all of a sudden you’re up to your neck and water, and you crawl out of there. Well, all your firearms, all your ammunition, everything has been immersed. Will they fire still?
Well, maybe. But I’d rather get some dry ammo out that I know it’s going to fire rather than ammo that I’ve just dunked that may fire. So having the extra ammo there is a good idea. Last, but certainly not least to the things that I’ve mentioned today, is having some additional Advil, Tylenol, bandages, antiseptic, all the simple stuff that we frequently used in first aid.
Yes, you should have a first aid kit in your car. And yes, a first aid kit should include maybe some more advances things like some quick cloth or some tourniquets or whatever. But in a disaster situation, you are likely going to use up whatever is in that first aid kit very quickly.
And a lot of the things that you may use out of that kit are going to be some of the simple things like your bandages and antiseptics, Band Aids, your gauze 4 buys [ph], those types of things.
So a lot of that stuff is pretty cheap, especially if you can get it, either like a generic store brand or catch some of the stuff on sale. So if you can grab some extra of that stuff, it’s not unreasonable to go to some type of disaster, and deal with a mass casualty situation, and a lot of the people are not in need of advanced life support.
They may – The vast majority of people may only have some pretty significant cuts or whatever, and by having bandages and antiseptic and gauze, and what not on hand, you can actually wind up bringing a lot of help, a lot of comfort to people.
Something to consider, and this isn’t something you necessarily carry in your bag. It’s something you carry, kind of with you all the time, is to plan ahead, think about these things in advance, how are you going to deal with things, try to calm mentally, prepare yourself. Chances are, you’re not going to have to deal with a “mass cows” of a major disaster during your career. Okay, that’s — Those are the odds. But just because that maybe the odds doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared for it.
We do a lot of training for firearms, and then surviving a shooting, yet most of us don’t actually get into shootings right. But the consequences of not training are pretty high. It’s the same thing with dealing with disasters and mass casualty incidents. Need to go ahead, and start thinking about those things now.
Because when they happened, if you’re, then just starting to think about it, you’re going to be much more likely to inappropriately respond, to fail to respond, or overreacting to the situations. And inappropriate response is not a luxury you have.
You maybe on your own, or you maybe working with other people, but you have to respond appropriately. There are lives literally that hang in the balance, and it’s going to be up to you to do what you can to save as many of them as you can.
I took some time last night, and was listening online to one of the sheriff’s departments that was affected by the tornados that came through the South. And I gave the dispatchers and all the emergency personnel on the radio a lot of credit. They sounded like real professionals. They were handling their jobs. They were doing what they are supposed to do.
And the radio traffic was clear, it was understandable. And that was clear, they were also overworked. They had some pretty bad scenes that they were trying to respond to. One particular scene, and I mean, these calls are just coming back to back to back. And they are trying to do their best to get them out, and find emergency responders to get to them.
And even with these awful things are dispatching, they still had an excess of a 100 other priority calls holding, people in need of real emergency assistance. But they dispatch, they had, I believed it was four or five ambulance cruise coming from a neighbouring county – they came up on the air, buys that they are in service.
They are at the EMS staging area, a particular part of the county, and they are available for calls. And then, immediately sent to the EMS units, to an apartment complex where they had several buildings that had collapsed, multiple traumas, and multiple entrapments. And the only thing the dispatch could do is dispatch to the EMS cruise there, and tell them that as soon as they had a fire crew available to assist with the entrapments, they’d be in round.
So how are you as –? When this case — There was a couple of paramedics, but if you are the deputy, or you are the police officer responding to that, have you prepared yourself mentally to go into that scene where you’ve got many victims, and help maybe coming, but it’s going to be a long ways off, and when it gets there, it’s not going to be in we’re near enough.
How are you going to respond to that when you get there? Are you going to be able to kind of take the walking wounded, and put them to work helping you? Are you going to completely freeze up? Are you going to overreact?
You got to think about these things ahead of time. And you’re going to wind up dealing with a lot of injured people, a lot of people that are scared, that are frightened, that are looking to you for everything.
One of the sadder calls was they sent an EMS crew to, I don’t remember if it was a house, or what it was now, but the injuries they had, two small children with multiple broken bones, external bleeding, and a father who is dead. How are you responding to that?
— Because you’ve got so many different things, so many different dynamics going on there; and you don’t have anyone else coming to help you. If you’re that cop or you’re that deputy that’s responding there because there’s not an EMS crew, and you’re going there, how are you going to respond to that?
Just some things you kind of keep in mind; but as always, if you’ve got any questions, comments, concerns, feedback make sure you do — make sure you shoot me an e-mail. Also, whatever you’ve got in you disaster planning kits, I hit just some of the basics. There are lots of other things that I keep in my bag and spare of batteries for my radio and other things that are specific to me; but whatever other ideas that you have, things that you keep in your bag, you can go to the website, leave a comment on the post for the Episode number 20: The Podcast.
But other folks know what you’re carrying in your bag; and in that way, we can all learn from each other. If you’re one of the citizens or officers that are in the affected areas from these tornadoes and everything, you’re in my prayers and my thoughts and hang in there, okay? For you and for everybody else, stay safe.