COTS Keeps Columbus Safe at “Red, White and Boom!”
Next week on July 3rd, the Midwest’s largest Independence Day fireworks display “Red White and Boom!” is set to go off as scheduled. There is an enormous amount of planning that goes into an event like this from recruiting enough volunteers, to directing traffic and crowds, to booking vendors and performers. However, one of the more important elements to plan for when bringing large crowds together is what to do if something bad happens and a mass casualty incident ensues. That’s when “Red, White, and Boom!” partners and local hospitals turn to the Central Ohio Trauma System (COTS) to evaluate possible risks and prepare if the worst were to happen.
“Red, White and Boom!” is Ohio’s largest single day event, so the first thing COTS must do is evaluate the potential threats involved with that many people gathering in one place and how to best decrease public impact. “We look at the location of the event and where the closest hospitals are to the location and plan on how we would move patients around and not overload one hospital,” said Jodi Keller Associate Director of Healthcare System Emergency Preparedness for COTS.
This is the 3rd year of formal disaster planning COTS has done for “Red, White and Boom!” and each year they’ve developed more ways to be prepared as possible for if disaster strikes. “Initially, we just brought everyone together to discuss what each of the agencies was doing to prepare, then pre-positioned caches of medical supplies where we might need them,” explained Keller, “This year we also created rally points within the festival area where hospital staff could report to if the incident occurred and then be escorted out by law enforcement to the hospital.” The rally points and escorts allow any hospital staff who might have been attending Red, White and Boom! to quickly get to their hospital and start helping those who need it without getting caught in the many road closures.
Prepping for the worst before it happens is what COTS and their disaster preparedness team is all about. You can help too, if you see something say something and inform a law enforcement officer of suspicious activity. Also, Franklin County EMA will be pushing out information through their mass notification system to the public. To receive these texts: text RWB2019 to 888777. But mostly, have a fun and safe night and enjoy the fireworks.
Learn more about CMA affiliate COTS and all they do by visiting: centralohiotraumasystem.org/home