3:10 – More information is conveyed about the extent and location of people with injuries.
3:27 – “Tango 1 on scene,” is heard. This is emergency medical technician Rafael Hernandez, who operates a special operations unit – a bigger truck with mass casualty equipment, Kearney explained.
3:35 – A request for more ambulances to respond to specific locations is heard. BLS is an acronym for a basic life support vehicle, or ambulance.
4:32 – Incident commander Hooley asks the dispatcher to deploy more resources to bring triage tags to the scene. He also provides information that at least 40 patients are in need of care.
5:24 – Another supervisor reports another area where injured people need care, and the dispatcher seeks and finds a unit to respond. This is the result of patients being discovered at locations away from the primary scene. They have likely moved there under their own power to get away from the finish line area, Kearney explained.
End of video – As this video concludes, the final words heard are from an EMT staffer at a first-aid station at Boylston and Hereford. The Hotel 2 call sign used here was predetermined, possibly because of the location on Hereford.
Several other actions are important to note but not evident just by watching and hearing the video, Kearney said. They are:
■ About one minute after the first explosion, a notification was sent via WebEOC, a web-based program monitored by command posts in communities along the route, MEMA, Public Health & Hospital that an explosion has occurred near the finish line.
■ About three minutes after the explosions, and right after Chief James Hooley’s update, Boston EMS personnel at Dispatch Operations sent a radio alert to all Boston hospital emergency departments advising of an explosion at the Marathon finish line, and to prepare for a mass casualty incident.
■ About five minutes after the explosions, additional Boston EMS ambulances are already responding to the incident. Boston EMS contacted mutual aid ambulances via a separate dedicated radio channel requesting additional ambulances respond to a staging area. In addition to Boston EMS units, 60 private ambulances respond to the incident.
In all, about 100 Boston EMS personnel worked the scene from Brighton to the finish line, Kearney said. Their speedy response, poise, and professionalism continues to impress him.
“A lot of it is just the day-to-day using of radio procedures and call signs and pre-designating the incident command, even on smaller incidents, so people are just used to it,” he said. “Then when something like this happens, it just expands. People are used to it. There’s not a lot of ‘OK, who is going to oversee loading, where do I take the patients. Everybody just kind of knows’.”
Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at @mattpep15.