Vegas Hospitals Would Get More Help After Attacks Under Plan

Plan Deals With How To Better Coordinate Efforts In Mass Casualty Incidents

Associated Press
February 26, 2020 - 6:13 am
Hospital with corridor and bed without persons in landscape format

upixa/Getty Images


LAS VEGAS (AP) — After a mass-casualty incident such as the Las Vegas shooting in 2017, local authorities should set up a hospital command plan to provide hospitals with help such as triaging patients, replenishing supplies or cleaning up, retired Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell said.

Hospitals have trouble handling an influx of shooting victims without some help, so the proposed hospital area command plan would provide more support, Cassell said Monday, addressing about 150 firefighters and emergency responders from across the country during a four-day conference.

“We’re going to do our thing on-scene, but behind the scenes we’re going to dispatch an engine company to the four or five closest hospitals and trauma centers to go in there and just meet up with the charge nurse, asking, ‘What can we do for you?’” Cassell said.

Cassell shared some of the biggest lessons city agencies learned after a shooter opened fire in October 2017 on an open-air concert crowd killing 58 people and injuring more than 800, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Multiple agencies did well communicating between each other, he said.

The area command idea was proposed over a year ago by Police Lt. Branden Clarkson and Deputy Fire Chief Jon Klassen in a meeting with the state Assembly Health and Human Services committee.

“We should’ve gone to the area hospitals … as opposed to throwing resources at a crowd running past us,” Klassen saidat the meeting.

Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, which housed and treated hundreds of people the night of the shooting, was not immediately available for comment.

“I don’t care what your badge is or what your patch is or what your job is or what hospital you work at, the end game is the same: people living and surviving when something bad happens,” Cassell said.