Boston EMS official visiting St. John to share what he learned during marathon bombings
Published: October 17, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - Emergency medical technician John Gill did a lot to help others at the scene of the Boston Marathon bombing in April, and now he is doing even more.
Gill, deputy superintendent of the Boston Emergency Medical Services, will share what he learned from the bombing during a training session Friday on St. John.
The training is hosted by the St. John Emergency Medical Services Association.
"In the past, we haven't really had a special instructor, but I just thought it would be really interesting," said Carol Beckowitz, president of the association, who said the nonprofit has previously hosted a number of training sessions.
The association is based on St. John and primarily supports paramedics on-island, as well as some on St. Thomas, because they share the same district.
"We haven't really had any mass casualties, and we don't want them, but you don't know when they are going to happen," Beckowitz said.
Gill will speak to other paramedics, as well as nurses and doctors, about what could be required of them in the case of a multi-casualty incident, such as the bombing.
He will be speaking from experience gained from the April 15 bombing, which left three people dead -including an 8-year-old boy - and more than 250 injured.
Federal authorities in the days following identified 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, as the suspects. The elder of the two was shot and killed by authorities on April 19. The younger is facing 30 terror charges in connection with the bombing in federal court in Boston and has pleaded not guilty.
"The first thing is that the concept that it can't happen here is going to get you in trouble," Gill said in a phone interview from Boston on Wednesday.
Gill, who has been with Boston EMS for 28 years, said that he has seen his fair share of incidents in which more than one person was critically injured or killed.
"I've seen trolley crashes where 70 people are hurt and several may be casualties," Gill said. "But this was probably the largest incident I've seen, and the largest critically injured number of people I've seen."
Gill said that any team of medical professionals needs to be prepared for such an incident, no matter what form it comes in.
"You have to focus on what you're doing," Gill said. "You really don't get to think about the aftermath until later."
Gill said that the focus of his presentation will be the types of wounds that medical professionals need to be prepared to treat in a mass-injury or mass-casualty situation.
Gill will only be speaking on Friday, though the training itself is a three-day event.
For more information about the training, contact the association at 642-5218.
- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email email@example.com.