UMC Mass Casualty bus used more than just during major incidents

UMC Mass Casualty bus used for more than accidents

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - On Friday, UMC EMS responded to Whisperwood Nursing Home in Lubbock after a power outage in the facility left residents vulnerable.

EMS responded using their am-bus to care for the large number of patients affected.

The use of the ambulance-bus, which is designed for use during mass casualties, left some Lubbock residents concerned about the severity of Friday’s incident.

Chad Curry, Training Chief at UMC EMS said while the vehicle is always ready for the most severe situation, people do not need to assume the worst when they see it.

“In today’s world, it’s just a matter of time until a mass incident happens. It just gives us the ability to be able to move a large number of people at one time along with our city resources and county partners,” Curry said.

Curry said the am-bus is a resource provided by the state of Texas. It is equipped to provide service during mass casualties, but it is also used for non-severe situations where a lot of people need treatment at one time.

Situations like Friday, when the power outage at Whisperwood left residents on oxygen vulnerable.

“The oxygen was turned off to the facility because of the fire danger, and this gave us ability to continue medical care with oxygen without any interruptions,” Curry said.

The am-bus can be mobilized within an hour, it is equipped with five healthcare providers, one load-master, a driver, and everything needed to provide continuous care, functioning much like a mobile hospital.

“The bus works really good for not only for situations like this where we need to move somebody to provide medical oxygen to them, but we can also transport from it or we can use it for like fire rehab,” Curry said.

Curry said it may just be a general car wreck on the loop, but if there are ten cars involved and each car has one patient, that is ten patients.

“That can be a huge stress on the ems system, so this gives us an avenue to transport those people or get them on board and check them out,” Curry said.

All patients from Friday’s incident were able to be treated on the am-bus were able to be treated on the am-bus, except for two, who were transported to local facilities.

LFR was also dispatched to assist with the incident.

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