Overview of Emergency First Response and the Start System

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Emergency First Response and the START System In the immediate aftermath of the Aurora, Colorado shooting spree that left 12 dead and 58 injured at last Thursday's midnight screening of the new Batman movie, we are reaffirmed in the need for first-responders and emergency management professionals to be ready to address mass casualties in rapid form any time and any place. Indeed, such tragedies only further reinforce the lessons of 9/11 and the War on Terror, which call for readiness and organization. From an emergency management perspective, the most immediate consideration is providing onsite medical attention to survivors. This invokes the focus of the discussion hereafter, which calls for a collective adherence to a clear set of procedures in handling mass casualty scenarios. Here, we advocate a wider adherence to the START system, a method of sorting and treating patients at the site of a mass casualty event. According to Owens (2008), START stands for Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment. The system was articulated in the 1980s as a result of a collaboration between the Hoag Hospital System and the Newport Beach Fire Department in California. The partnership would prove a visionary one, promoting new and ever more efficient ways of managing the short-term needs of burn and inhalation victims as well as promoting high levels of coordination between emergency workers and medical personnel. This kind of coordination, recent events have proven, is absolutely critical to
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