Monday, May 18, 2009
Hospital administrators and Emergency Response officials gathered in Allegheny County Monday to learn about the “Surge Resources” available in the Commonwealth. A “surge resource” is capital in the state that is at the ready to help in the case of a medical emergency such as a flu outbreak, natural disaster or biological attack. Tom McElree is the Executive director of the regional E-M-S council in southwestern Pennsylvania. He says a great example is the 50-bed mobile hospitals the state acquired about two months ago. He says they have their own generators, heating and cooling systems and air handling systems. McElree says the mobile hospitals can take the overflow from a hospital and can even serve as an isolation unit. Along with the hospitals the EMS regions have access to Medical Surge Equipment Trailers that have all the equipment needed to turn a gym or other large building into a 50-bed hospital. There are also ten-bed short-term triage stations ready to be deployed to provide emergency care as patients are waiting to be transported to other facilities. All of the equipment will be used in a biological attack drill next month. Listen to a 15-minute tour of the facilities here.