In a strange coincidence, Austin-Travis County EMS launched its new large scale event response plan at SXSW Wednesday night. Because of that plan, paramedics were able to have the most critical patients at the hospital within 15 minutes.
Austin-Travis County EMS paramedics who tended to the crash victims Wednesday night are back on duty.
Paramedics all say they are proud of their response. And it has a lot to do with this tent. It's called a casualty collection point.
Paramedics on ATVs and motorcycles are spread out around downtown. They pick up patients and bring them here. Paramedics say they're able to treat many of the injuries they see here, not in a hospital.
Also new--two ambulances are parked here ready to go. That makes a big difference because in years past, paramedics would pull ambulances from across the city to take patients to the hospital. They did not have a care facility to attempt treatment.
Last night, patients were here and since this was in place--both ambulances were free to go to the crash site as well as all of the ATVs and motorcycles. There were plenty of medics on duty to still care for those in the casualty center. In addition to that, paramedics credit their extensive mass casualty training, including an exercise they did earlier this week.
"So two days prior to this event we table-topped different scenarios, one of the scenarios we did was a car into a crowd. And we talked about if that scenario happened, based on where it happened, how would we respond to that. Because of that planning and that discussion, we already had an idea of what resources we were going to do our primary responsibility and roles that was extremely critical to our response last night," Austin-Travis County EMS Chief James Hawley.
The top injuries paramedics see during SXSW are they say a result of overindulgence.