Day-2 of ICS-300 at Elmhurst Hospital

Day-2 of the ICS-300 course here at Elmhurst Hospital where we get to talk about a bunch of things like the Planning P, SMART Objectives, resource management, and of course demobilization!

Hearing groups report out on their findings and how they would interact with other agencies are critical to us in Emergency Management as we now know where there could be possible hiccups in coordination of responders.

Overall, a great packed class with tons of participation from everyone.

Soooooo out of curiousity, how many of you are coming back in February to attend the ICS-400 class with me?

Awwwwwwww yeah baby!

See you at the next big one.


Quarterly read: Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

Just finished Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink.

Overview at the bottom.

My top 5 takeaways.

  1. Hospitals need to plan more aggressively and not “believe” that all resources will be available to support in a crisis.
  2. Real exercises need to happen. Tabletops are not enough to test hospital gaps.
  3. Emergency Management needs to be involved early to objectively review and evaluate performance…esp as a third party evaluator.
  4. Reduction in system-wide variables will lead to less confusion. Actions taken outside protocol and/or made on emotion will likely be a bad decision.
  5. All patients/people are important.

Seems like all these items listed above are consistent with other organizations and agencies huh?

What are you reading this quarter?




Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink

Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina – and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice.

In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and maintain life amid chaos.

After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several of those caregivers faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.

Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.

In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are for the impact of large-scale disasters—and how we can do better. A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis.

One of The New York Times‘ Best Ten Books of the Year

My former flight team smiling

After a lukewarm week, what made me smile again? This.


Kaito and Whooba

Seeing my former flight team smiling on a great day in Ohio.


University MedEvac-2 (Medina)

Yes, I knew these two jokersters when they first started with the flight program.


Left to right: Kilo-Charlie (117KC) and Whiskey-Sierra (118WS) with Mike-Bravo (626MB) on the fins. If you know the meaning behind these tail numbers, you know what it means to me.

Yups, back in the original EC-135 and BK days.


Lead Pilot Campos, Base Supervisor Celebrezze, and Kaito

So glad to see they now are leading their respective teams as Lead Pilot and Base Supervisor. Ahhh, great memories. Outstanding flight crews. Transition approved!


Kaito….I mean @rusnivek

Ebola treatment at Grady with CDC

Thanks to the pros at Grady on their hospitality. As you may remember, Grady was one of the first health systems to treat Ebola patients here in the United States.

Grady works closely with their partners in health at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both agencies are in Atlanta, so it puts them in a very unique position to integrally work in specialized treatment in stopping this deadly outbreak.

Thanks again for the warm hospitality.


Visit to London and their Air #Ambulance @LDNairamb #Helicopter

Just reminiscing about my visit to the London’s Air Ambulance with an old Flight Nurse I used to work with.


Love London. Great town!

Maybe this type of lettering/identification marking will help onscene delineate between Public Works Road Crews vs Emergency Medicine Physicians.


Special thanks to the flight crews from London’s Air Ambulance.





Did you participate in National Child Passenger Safety Week? #NatlPrep #Prepared2014

It is the start of the fourth week of 2014 National Preparedness Month

“Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare”

For me, it’s Sunday in PA!

This week’s theme is consistent with FEMA’s National Preparedness Campaign: Practice for an emergency

#21: Did you get your child secured in your vehicle? National Child Passenger Safety Week – Thanks @UHRainbowBabies #Prepared2014 #NatlPrep


September 13th through September 20th = National Child Passenger Safety Week. Various agencies are promoting in-vehicle safety for children across the country. In the United States, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children. Data show that:

Risk Reduction for Every Age

Buckling children in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts reduces the risk of serious and fatal injuries:

  • Car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants (aged <1 year) by 71%; and to toddlers (aged 1–4 years) by 54% in passenger vehicles.
  • Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4–8 years when compared with seat belt use alone.
  • For older children and adults, seat belt use reduces the risk for death and serious injury by approximately half. 

Scope of the Problem 

  • In the United States during 2011, more than 650 children ages 12 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes,5 and more than 148,000 were injured.
  • One CDC study found that, in one year, more than 618,000 children ages 0-12 rode in vehicles without the use of a child safety seat or booster seat or a seat belt at least some of the time.
  • Of the children who died in a crash in 2011, 33% were not buckled up.

Risk Factors for Children and Teens

  • Of the children who died in a crash:
    • More black (45%) and Hispanic (46%) children were not buckled up compared with white (26%) children (2009-2010).
    • More of the older children (45% of 8-12 year olds) were not buckled up compared with younger children (one-third of 1-7 year olds; one-fourth of infants under 1) in 2011.
  • From 2001 to 2010, approximately 1 in 5 child passenger (<15 years old) deaths in the U.S. involved drunk driving; 65% of the time, it was the child’s own driver that had been drinking (BAC ≥ 0.08 g/dl).
  • Most child passengers (<15 years old) of drunk drivers (61%) were not buckled up in the fatal crash.
  • Restraint use among young children often depends upon the driver’s seat belt use. Almost 40% of children riding with unbelted drivers were themselves unrestrained.
  • Child restraint systems are often used incorrectly. One study found that 72% of nearly 3,500 observed car and booster seats were misused in a way that could be expected to increase a child’s risk of injury during a crash.

Preventing Motor Vehicle Injuries in Children

  • Based on strong evidence of effectiveness, the Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends car seat laws and car seat distribution plus education programs to increase restraint use and decrease injuries and deaths to child passengers.
  • Car seat distribution plus education programs are also recommended in a more recent review for increasing restraint use.
  • A recent study of five states that increased the age requirement to 7 or 8 years for car seat/booster seat use found that the rate of children using car seats and booster seats increased nearly three times and the rate of children who sustained fatal or incapacitating injuries decreased by 17%.

Read the recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR announcements) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention feature story, and CDC’s Vital Signs on child passenger safety to learn more about buckling the ones you love in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, or seat belts.


And you bet I got my munchkin secured in the seat!


Safety first for kids!

Special thanks to UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital for helping put my car seat in for FREE!

Right Arden?


Oh munchkin!


Presenting some social media magic here in Ashtabula

Did someone say “social media magic”? Heck yeah…and it’s right here in Ashtabula: the use of social media during disasters!


Making sure we cover the entire state, we hit Columbus yesterday and today, we are setup in the farthest NE corner of Ohio, Ashtabula County.


We are fortunate to have State of Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA) PIO Tamara McBride (from Columbus) peek into the class and say hi to everyone.


Leveraging our current technologies during non-emergency times will help concrete our actions and increase our communications during disasters.

Looking forward to seeing some great progress and interaction in social media.


Additionally, it’s so nice to see old friends and colleagues from my past. Truly outstanding.


No matter wearing my flight helmet, my hospital shirt, my fire helmet, whatever….I’m just glad to see great friends again.


First delivery of EM Terrorism class in Ohio

On Friday, I got a chance to teach one of the first Emergency Management Terrorism Courses on behalf of the State of Ohio.


Lots to add in 2014 because the class was last updated in 2005.

Also got a chance to see this weirdo too.


Happy birthday FC Steve Bosso.


Special thanks to Summa Health Training Officer Games Gish and all the crews from Summa Health for the great hospitality.



No HIPAA violation, but RN fired for posting to Instagram?

Wait a sec…

You can get fired for posting an Instagram picture even without a patient in the picture?


Instagram post (Cort of

Apparently Katie Duke (RN) was fired from New York Presbyterian Hospital because of her Instagram post was deemed “insensitive”.

We talk a bunch about this my PIO/Social Media classes right?

Katie Duke on Instagram

Again I ask, can you get fired from your job because of an Instagram post?

Guess so…


SitRep for West Virginia Chemical Spill (EM-3366) – 01-14-14- at 1030

SitRep for West Virginia Chemical Spill (EM-3366) – 01-14-14- at 1030.

The chemical spill (up to 7,500 gallons) into the Elk River in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia continues to dissipate. “Do not use water” order remains in effect for approximately 65,000. Chemical identified as 4-methycyclohexane methanol (MCHM).

  • West Virginia state Emergency Operations Center still in full activation.
  • 01-13-14 afternoon – bans lifted for 26,000 customers.
  • 01-14-14 morning – bans lifted for additional 9,000 customers.
  • All local area hospitals are operating within existing patient care capacity: 234 patients treated at this time with 14 admits. No confirmed fatalities.
  • Elk River flows into Ohio River tributary. Cincinnati Water Works monitoring.
  • Ongoing Logistics Section coordinating delivery of water to state agency with 96% delivery totals. FEMA FCO monitoring.


FEMA continues to support the state and local partners in assisting in the mitigation efforts to these nine communities.