Acadian Ambulance speaks out about responding to Geismar plant explosion

Photo provided by Acadian Ambulance/Air Med.

Great communication and preparation helped things run smoothly

Friday, June 14, 2013 - 3:12pm

"They said there was a large chemical plant with an unknown number of patients, and they were asking for all available resources," says Marc Creswell, Air Med Operations Manager.

Within thirty minutes of that call Acadian Ambulance had two air meds on the ground and two others on the way.

"When we arrived at the primary area, the initial collection point, they were very well organized," says Creswell.

Along with Acadian Ambulance were two other companies and physicians on the ground helping local authorities.

"The communication was excellent, a vast improvement over the Katrina days. The incident command structure was very defined, the triage was good and structured, it just worked very well," says Creswell.

Every year first responders have Mass Casualty Incident drills ranging from an airplane crash to a hurricane to better prepare for when disaster strikes. Acadian Ambulance helped out with twenty ambulances, four air med, and one school bus. They transferred 25 patients by ground, 13 by air, and 24 by bus.

"Amazingly, just like in Deep Water Horizon, for what they were in these people were very calm, cool, collected," says Marc Creswell.

Although a tragedy, Creswell says yesterday's explosion showed how well communication and preparation pays off.

"The events of yesterday with all the improvements we've made at the state level within our operability communications I know that yesterday's experience we'll build on it and I'm not looking forward to the next hurricane, but I think if we do have one I know we're going to be a lot better off than we were seven, eight, nine years ago using the events yesterday to build on that.  I think I know we're pretty confident we're going to do a good job," says Creswell.

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