Training on new triage system for Rural/Metro crews

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - From mass shootings to multiple car accidents the U.S. and Southern Arizona has had to deal with some unfortunate situations over the last few years.  Soon there will be a new way the Rural/Metro Fire Department will handle them.

Rural/Metro employees will be trained on a new triage systems and learn the new way to respond to an emergency situation involving ten or more patients.

It is not a huge change to what they do now officials are saying; this new procedure just refines the current system.

"It allows the first in-unit to set up a command structure, start evaluating the patients that are there on scene, and identifying those that need immediate care, immediate transport to hospital versus those that are either deceased from the accident or those that are minor injuries," said Rural/Metro Captain Grant Cesarek.

Here is what the new procedure involves:

When Rural/Metro first responders arrive on a scene, they will mark the patient with a ribbon and a card that gets put around the patient's neck – this new card has a barcode on it, and much like scanning groceries at the grocery store, there is pertinent information on the card.  It will show first responders everything they need to know about the patient immediately.

"When they arrive at the hospital, there's the ability of scanning with a scanner and a bar code system so we have great tracking of the number of victims, the injuries that we have, and where the victims have been transported," said Captain Cesarek.  "That's going to help our incident commanders and also the entire system if we had a disaster of that magnitude."

A total of 440 Rural/Metro employees are expected to be trained, with several getting a head start with training earlier this month.  Rural/Metro officials are stating that training should be finished by early next week.

The triage system is expected to go into effect sometime in October.

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