Last Updated on February 16, 2021 by Randy Cherry
Natural disasters remain a problem in this country because few people actually prepare for it. It’s hard to think that a natural disaster may occur to yourself. Yet everyone should be prepared in the event that a disaster comes their way. Those who are unprepared often find themselves needing long distance ambulance transport. Yet receiving medical assistance can be difficult due to numerous factors. A medical transportation provider should be aware of the following when conducting services during a natural disaster.
1. Training Team Members
Emergency training for medical transports isn’t enough. A natural disaster is a kind of emergency, but it’s in a class all its own. Medical transport services should train their employees and technicians specifically for natural disaster relief. Everyone from the pilots to the paramedics should be trained for working in those conditions.
Perhaps more importantly, it’s also vital for each team member to have a base knowledge of each other’s jobs as well. In the event that something occurs to the pilot, the paramedic should be able to take off and land the plane or helicopter.
Training team members for dealing with obstructions like electricity lines, pylons, cables, and trees are required. Most natural disasters will cause destruction to the basic infrastructure in an area. Every team member should be trained on how to overcome the challenges presented by the destroyed infrastructure.
2. Medical Transport Providers Should Remain in Charge
A lot of confusion can be created when different agencies attempt to take control of a mission. This confusion can slow missions and put people’s lives at risk. To avoid that, it’s essential that the medical transport service remains in control of the mission from start to finish.
They should receive information about the conditions from other sources. However, when it comes to actually plan and perform the mission, it’s the provider that should be calling the shots. This helps limit confusion on all sides. With a clear mission and tasks at hand, the team can execute the plan or receive immediate orders from the provider in the event of new information being received.
3. Include an Array of Transport Vehicles
Each natural disaster determines what kind of medical transport can be used. For example, a flooded area may require the use of a boat or helicopter. As such, a medical transport service should have an abundance of transport vehicles on hand. More importantly, there should be a healthy mix of those vehicles.
The services should include vehicles like helicopters, planes, boats, ambulances, and customized buses. Careful thought should also be placed on deploying each vehicle. For example, a medical transport service may need to use a helicopter to pick up patients in hard-to-reach areas. However, the helicopter can only carry so much weight.
This might limit how many patients they can take or how much equipment they can bring with them. This can severely impact the chances of the patients surviving their ordeal. The state of the landing site also needs to be considered. Helicopters may not be able to land in areas with crumbling surfaces. The weight of the helicopter and the power behind its rotating blades may be enough to make the surface crumble and fall apart.
Planes are able to hold more patients and equipment. However, they’re not as agile as helicopters. They can’t land exactly where patients are and require large fields to land. The patients will have to be rescued through other means and brought to the plane.
In the case of boats, they may be able to be used for quick recovery missions, but they won’t be able to hold many patients either. The equipment that is brought along will likely be even more reduced in number.
As such, great thought needs to be considered as to what vehicles should be deployed during a natural disaster.
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