Area First Responders Learn From Boston

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Local disaster readiness experts have assessed lessons learned from the performance of first responders during the Boston Marathon crisis.

JoAnne Langan is coordinator of disaster preparedness for the School of Nursing at Saint Louis University. She says many things went right in Boston.

“Everything was working for them. The health care, professionals there, and their close proximity to hospitals so they could get rapid treatment,” she said.

Langan says one of the best exercises any medical team can undergo is to practice for such emergencies.

“So, lots of drills. You cannot drill enough because every time you have a drill you learn something new, a weakness you need to beef up on,” she said.

Langan says the St. Louis area is fortunate because it has a computerized system to help share information and share resources among all the area hospitals, allowing responders to move people and resources where they would be needed the most.

“We are working very well, doing the drills together in big, area-wide drills so that people learn to collaborate and work together rather than competing health care systems,” she said. “We know that exists but when it comes to disasters, we’re all together, we’re all on the same page.”

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