Disaster Blasters ready in catastrophe event - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Disaster Blasters ready in catastrophe event

MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - In the event of a catastrophe, Memorial Hospital of Carbondale's Disaster Blasters would be on the road and headed to provide help. 

The public is invited to tour the hospital's fleet of disaster-ready trucks and trailers at the Disaster Blasters open house and cookout on May 15 at Southern Illinois Airport in Murphysboro, IL from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The red, white and blue trailers are housed at the airport, as part of Illinois Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Region 5's Regional Assets.

According to the press release, Memorial Hospital of Carbondale serves as the Regional Hospital Coordinating Center for disaster preparedness and helps coordinate preparedness efforts and medical response for 23 hospitals in the 22 southernmost counties.

Jay Sims, EMS Resource Specialist at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, said the cargo trailers carry equipment needed in the event of a disaster, including generators, a liquid oxygen system, fatality management system, decontamination supplies, personal protection equipment, a morgue trailer, water filtration systems, an area for patient treatment or incident command, tents, and medical equipment and supplies. 

The units also enable the disaster preparedness team to set up a 300-bed field hospital.

Officials say when a disaster does happen in the area – they never just show up, but wait for a call.

“Once that request is made either by the hospital or sometimes even by the emergency management agency, then we will coordinate with them on where we need to be and what exactly it is that they need at the time,"RHCC Coordinator for the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale,  Mike Maddox said. "Because the last thing we want to do is to show up with a bunch of stuff that is just going to get in the way.”

The Disaster Blasters have been deployed at various times over the years, including the 2011 flood. 

More recently, the Disaster Blasters have provided on-site assistance to the American Red Cross for shelter and have been on stand-by for weather-related events. 

The Disaster Blasters have also had a presence at many health and community education workshops, community events and groundbreakings over the past year.

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