2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/163051
Type:
Presentation
Title:
Fire! Impact of a Firestorm on the San Diego County Emergency Medical Services
Abstract:
Fire! Impact of a Firestorm on the San Diego County Emergency Medical Services
Conference Sponsor:Emergency Nurses Association
Conference Year:2004
Author:Marcotte, Anne, RN, MPH
P.I. Institution Name:County of San Diego, Division of EMS
Title:Emergency Medical Services Coordinator
Contact Address:6255 Mission Gorge Road, San Diego, CA, 92120, USA
Contact Telephone:(619) 285-6429
Co-Authors:Anne Marcotte
Purpose: In October 2003, San Diego County experienced the worst firestorm in recent history. The fires
and the associated poor air quality directly affected many citizens in the county. Once the fire emergency
was declared, San Diego County EMS worked with local media to inform citizens of the potential effects of
poor air quality, especially on chronically ill populations. The media broadcast preventive measures on
related health issues and advised chronically ill patients to contact their primary care physicians first in
order to keep emergency departments and prehospital services available. This study assessed the impact
patients (with fire-related complaints) had on the EMS system.
Design: Retrospective review of a prehospital database for patients with fire-related complaints was used
to collect data about the EMS impact from the San Diego firestorm.
Setting: San Diego County has an urban, suburban, rural, and remote resident population of approximately
3 million and covers 4,300 square miles. During the firestorm, fire consumed approximately 400,000 acres
(15% of the county land mass), 2,600 residences, over 2,000 outbuildings and businesses, and 14 lives.
Sample: All patients evaluated by advanced life support (ALS) ambulance personnel after accessing 9-1-1
for direct fire-related complaints, from October 26, 2003 through November 3, 2003.
Methodology: The prehospital patient database was searched for all patients with a complaint that was
directly related to the fires as documented by the Mobile Intensive Care Nurse (MICN). Charts were
abstracted for demographics, medical issues, treatments rendered, and disposition status.
Results: ALS providers (paramedics) evaluated 138 patients for fire-related complaints, 20% of whom were
firefighters. The majority were treated for non-chronic respiratory complaints (45%). Other complaints
included burns (9%), trauma associated with evacuation or firefighting (12%), eye injuries (2%), and dehydration
(1%). Firefighter patients were treated for respiratory complaints (18% of all firefighters treated),
eye injuries (11%), and trauma (29%). The majority of all patients were categorized as mild status (78%).
Paramedics transported 76% of the patients they treated to a hospital, while 10% signed out against medical
advice. Emergency department (ED) bypass hours, which were expected to increase during this period,
actually decreased slightly from 52.47 to 48.49 (not statistically significant).
Conclusion: While the firestorm had the potential to have a significant impact on the availability of EMS
resources, preemptive actions resulted in minimal impact to emergency departments and the prehospital
system. Thus more dual role firefighter/paramedics were available to serve on the fire line, and ED nurses
were not overburdened with patients.
Repository Posting Date:
27-Oct-2011
Date of Publication:
17-Oct-2011
Sponsors:
Emergency Nurses Association

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleFire! Impact of a Firestorm on the San Diego County Emergency Medical Servicesen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/163051-
dc.description.abstract<table><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-title">Fire! Impact of a Firestorm on the San Diego County Emergency Medical Services</td></tr><tr class="item-sponsor"><td class="label">Conference Sponsor:</td><td class="value">Emergency Nurses Association</td></tr><tr class="item-year"><td class="label">Conference Year:</td><td class="value">2004</td></tr><tr class="item-author"><td class="label">Author:</td><td class="value">Marcotte, Anne, RN, MPH</td></tr><tr class="item-institute"><td class="label">P.I. Institution Name:</td><td class="value">County of San Diego, Division of EMS</td></tr><tr class="item-author-title"><td class="label">Title:</td><td class="value">Emergency Medical Services Coordinator</td></tr><tr class="item-address"><td class="label">Contact Address:</td><td class="value">6255 Mission Gorge Road, San Diego, CA, 92120, USA</td></tr><tr class="item-phone"><td class="label">Contact Telephone:</td><td class="value">(619) 285-6429</td></tr><tr class="item-email"><td class="label">Email:</td><td class="value">patti.murrin@sdcounty.ca.gov</td></tr><tr class="item-co-authors"><td class="label">Co-Authors:</td><td class="value">Anne Marcotte</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" class="item-abstract">Purpose: In October 2003, San Diego County experienced the worst firestorm in recent history. The fires<br/>and the associated poor air quality directly affected many citizens in the county. Once the fire emergency<br/>was declared, San Diego County EMS worked with local media to inform citizens of the potential effects of<br/>poor air quality, especially on chronically ill populations. The media broadcast preventive measures on<br/>related health issues and advised chronically ill patients to contact their primary care physicians first in<br/>order to keep emergency departments and prehospital services available. This study assessed the impact<br/>patients (with fire-related complaints) had on the EMS system.<br/>Design: Retrospective review of a prehospital database for patients with fire-related complaints was used<br/>to collect data about the EMS impact from the San Diego firestorm.<br/>Setting: San Diego County has an urban, suburban, rural, and remote resident population of approximately<br/>3 million and covers 4,300 square miles. During the firestorm, fire consumed approximately 400,000 acres<br/>(15% of the county land mass), 2,600 residences, over 2,000 outbuildings and businesses, and 14 lives.<br/>Sample: All patients evaluated by advanced life support (ALS) ambulance personnel after accessing 9-1-1<br/>for direct fire-related complaints, from October 26, 2003 through November 3, 2003.<br/>Methodology: The prehospital patient database was searched for all patients with a complaint that was<br/>directly related to the fires as documented by the Mobile Intensive Care Nurse (MICN). Charts were<br/>abstracted for demographics, medical issues, treatments rendered, and disposition status.<br/>Results: ALS providers (paramedics) evaluated 138 patients for fire-related complaints, 20% of whom were<br/>firefighters. The majority were treated for non-chronic respiratory complaints (45%). Other complaints<br/>included burns (9%), trauma associated with evacuation or firefighting (12%), eye injuries (2%), and dehydration<br/>(1%). Firefighter patients were treated for respiratory complaints (18% of all firefighters treated),<br/>eye injuries (11%), and trauma (29%). The majority of all patients were categorized as mild status (78%).<br/>Paramedics transported 76% of the patients they treated to a hospital, while 10% signed out against medical<br/>advice. Emergency department (ED) bypass hours, which were expected to increase during this period,<br/>actually decreased slightly from 52.47 to 48.49 (not statistically significant).<br/>Conclusion: While the firestorm had the potential to have a significant impact on the availability of EMS<br/>resources, preemptive actions resulted in minimal impact to emergency departments and the prehospital<br/>system. Thus more dual role firefighter/paramedics were available to serve on the fire line, and ED nurses<br/>were not overburdened with patients.</td></tr></table>en_GB
dc.date.available2011-10-27T10:38:44Z-
dc.date.issued2011-10-17en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-27T10:38:44Z-
dc.description.sponsorshipEmergency Nurses Associationen_GB
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