“You know we asked – I asked – ‘Hey, if you can send anybody from that other service we can get some mutual aid, and then if you can clear anybody out [of] the hospital, we have multiple children kind of on the ground ejected from a vehicle,’ and we – I – knew it was serious.” – Paramedic Josh
A sea of red taillights laid out before them, Josh and his colleague quickly realized that the New Orleans East interstate – usually humming with traffic – had turned into a haphazard parking lot. They had been given minimal information about the motor vehicle accident they were approaching, but rather than wait for the ambulance to navigate the maze of cars, Josh decided to make the rest of the trek to the scene on foot. He'd hoped to find a run-of-the-mill fender bender at the end of his half-mile journey, but his arrival brought something far worse: a nightmarish scene comprised of a severely damaged minivan, 11 children in various states of injury, and absolutely no help.
Join former paramedic/firefighter and host Phil Klein as he shares the mic with Josh, a quality manager and critical care paramedic, who shares a story from early in his career. Josh and his colleagues weren’t unfamiliar with operating on limited resources, especially while working weekend shifts in New Orleans – a city that is no stranger to widespread chronic diseases, gun violence, hordes of tourists, and a perpetually festive atmosphere. But when Josh finds himself to be the lone paramedic on the scene of a mass casualty incident involving children, he must swiftly learn how to balance his desire to be an expert clinician with the need to effectively manage the scene and his resources.
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The Independent Riot