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South Carolina standardise triage across the state.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is standardizing the way EMS across the state respond to Mass Casualty Incidents.

In a preparedness initiative South Carolina’s DHEC has purchased, with $200,000 of Federal Grant Monies, 1,000 SMART Triage & Rapid Treatment Packs (T.R.I. Packs) for distribution to EMS services across the state.

The SMART T.R.I. Packs, will be issued to every 911 ambulance across the state. They will be a valuable resource to the responders, providing them with the tools they need for effective on scene triage and space for medical equipment such as trauma dressings, tourniquets, and chest seals. These interventions in tandem with immediate and accurate triage will help decrease mortality at a mass casualty incident.

Showing a firm commitment to training and preparedness, South Carolina’s DHEC has also contracted with our US Office, Kingfisher Medical out of Ohio to provide four “Train the Trainer” incident response training days across the State. These training days will help equip South Carolina EMS to deal with incidents from a crashed minivan on the highway through to a full size Hostile Mass Casualty Incident.

DHEC Director of Trauma, Rich Wisniewski, is very pleased to see this standardization occur. “We have been working on this project for over 3 years. To get every 911 responding ambulance the same triage system is a massive undertaking but will pay dividends on emergency scenes all across our state. If everyone is using the same equipment and trained the same way, we will be able save more lives. It is just that simple.”

Bob Otter, Kingfisher Medical Vice President, Fire Captain and 21 year EMS veteran will be teaching the triage class across the state. “Our goal with this class is to not only show the new equipment and how it works, but to shift the paradigm and challenge the way medics think. We want them to
understand that triage has a place every day on smaller incidents, 4 to 5 patients not just 50 to 60. Anytime your casualties outnumber your initial resources, you should triage. Once you get proficient in the skill set, the larger incidents become a lot easier to manage and more lives are saved.”

The SMART Triage system, which has been used in large scale incidents all over the world, is very tried and tested. It is now standardized across 9 US states and used widely across many others. Over 100 million Americans are covered by SMART Triage.

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