Everyone in Oklahoma remembers exactly where they were, and what they heard and felt when time stood still at 9:02AM on April 19, 1995. I was sitting in my first grade classroom, which was about 10 miles away from downtown, and we all felt the building shake a little bit... (I STILL cant grasp the magnitude of the bomb having felt it 1O MILES away). One of my classmates said "Dude, I bet a bunch of trucks backfired at the same time!" and I will never forget that; mainly because I had no idea what that meant.
At the time I am sure many people in Oklahoma thought something like the bombing "would never happen to us" or thought "things like this only happen in other countries". With that being said I think it is really cool how fast emergency plans were activated-
"Within three minutes of the blast, seven staffed ambulances were in route to the scene; within 60 minutes, 66 ambulances were staffed and operational. A total of 47 ambulance services and 103 units were involved—many from outlying areas. More than 400 doctors and nurses rushed to the hospital located closest to the scene; therefore, there were two physicians caring for every one of the 202 patients taken there." Sheryl Mclain- VP of Communications Oklahoma Hospitals Association
The Oklahoma City hospitals learned many things from the April 19th bombing. Never underestimate the importance of having disaster preparedness plans in place which are practiced regularly via mock disaster drills.
Recently a couple of my friends and I volunteered in a state wide "Disaster Drill"
As you can guess these are drills to prepare/train healthcare providers to respond to mass casualty incidents resulting from acts of terrorism or public health crises (earthquakes, bombings, or even severe weather)
It was cool experience. We were dressed up as victims and had fake blood and injuries applied to our bodies. Our situation was a shelter collapsed on top of us.
|Abrasions and Debris on the Face|
We entered the hospital in pairs. The hospital staffs main goals were to get an ID bracelet on us, figure out our triage status (determines the priorities of patients based on their conditions), and send us to the appropriate place- whether it be surgery or someplace else.
Overall there was some confusion on what was going on, but that made it all the more real! I know that our acting skills didn't help. It is hard to pretend you are injured and a lot harder not to laugh at your friends while they are pretending.
"My eye, my eye!!"
"A fully successful drill is a failure -- you didn't learn anything and you didn't stress the system"