Future First Responders and FirstNet: Response to a multiple-vehicle accident (MVA) scenario
What is in this article?
Scenario: Overloaded public-safety LTE network
Shortly after, the chief gets an overload message from LTE network, indicating that 90% of the capacity in the primary cell sector on the LTE public-safety network is being consumed by first responders.
The overload message is also received at dispatch, which then invokes a priority override of the commercial systems sharing the network in the cell sector (technically possible, although it has not been done to date) to allow priority access of first-responder traffic over the commercial network.
Following a preplan priority scheme, DPW and Police are given priority on the commercial LTE network and roam onto the commercial network using a Tiered Priority Access (TPA) override, so their movement to the commercial network occurs without session interruption.
Personnel from the electric utility arrive to the scene. While the electric-utility vehicle is en route, dispatch dynamically elevates their communication tiered prioritization to enable communication with the chief. While en route, the locations of the smart devices used by the responding electric-utility team are displayed on the incident map for the chief.
When at the scene, the electric-utility personnel use their LTE smart phones with the ICS application to communicate with the chief via a video/audio bridge, requesting an update on what is needed. The chief informs them of the need to cut power to the area. The electric utility disconnects power to the section of the grid affected. The electric-utility team/company reports to the chief that the power has been cut, and it is safe to proceed.
After this, the electric-utility personnel remain on the network, but they are moved to a lower level on the priority scheme.
The third-due rescue team arrives and—after confirming with the chief—begins staging for extrication efforts.
Third-due rescue Team 1 (Nozzle and Backup) members don SCBA, with no mask. They grab irons but do not approach the vehicle.
Third-Due Rescue Team 2 (Door and Chauffer Assist) members don SCBA, with no mask. They establish a 1 ¾” hose precautionary line and do not charge it, and they begin staging extrication tools on tarp.
The chief then informs the Third-Due Rescue team (MA) and EMS that they can begin extrication of passenger vehicle 2.
EMS approaches the victim on the ground and takes the following steps:
- Establishes that the victim is still alive (electrocution victim).
- EMS begins prep work on this individual for potential Medevac.
- Med sensor placed on victim and telemetry feed given to Medevac, which has just arrived, in addition to Tier 1 hospital designated by Medevac team.
- Victim is moved to triage location
While this is transpiring, someone claiming to be the parent of one of victims arrives on scene and begins obstructing EMS and Fire personnel. Two fire personnel are redirected to keep the parent away from the scene. It is not known if any of the MVA victims are related to the parent.
Media personnel arrive on foot—bypassing barricades—and begin taking pictures. The press tries to get comments from the fire personnel, but they follow National Incident Management System (NIMS) protocol and do not respond, or they tell the press to talk with the chief and give no other comments.
Additionally some onlookers have come onto the scene. None are in the way.
At the triage location, the EMS coordinator requests an additional Medevac unit, because of the severity of injuries to two victims. However the EMS coordinator is informed that this is not possible, because other potential assets already are engaged with another incident. As a result, only one victim can be transported via Medevac at this time.
Using his BWC, the EMS coordinator talks with staff at the receiving hospital, which is getting medical telemetry feeds on both severe patients. It is decided to Medevac the victim from passenger car 1, based on vital signs.
The EMS coordinator informs the chief via his BWC that one patient is being moved to the Medevac landing zone and the other is going to the local hospital via ambulance. Both victims are loaded into ambulances using the rescue personnel from first-due rescue, which arrived later on scene. One ambulance proceeds to the LZ while the other ambulance goes to the local hospital.
The Fire Police manning the LZ are informed on their BWC, as well as Medevac, that a victim is now en route to their location.
The electrocution patients’ telemetry feed—as well as the Medevac’s estimated time of arrival—are sent to the hospital trauma center.
While this is transpiring, a brush fire breaks out near vehicle 2 as a result of smoldering grass due to the downed power lines. The Door and Chauffer Assist man the precautionary line from third-due rescue. The line is charged, and team members don their SCBA masks. Water is placed on the fire, and it is extinguished.
Immediately after the fire is extinguished, third-due rescue and EMS approach passenger vehicle 2. They take the following steps:
- Verbal communication is achieved with driver and passenger
- Occupants are frantic and cannot open doors, which appear to be jammed
- Doors are checked and will not open
- Occupants are not responding to requests to turn off vehicle
- A third person is noticed in the back of the car and is not moving
- The vehicle is stabilized, and this is reported to chief
- Vehicle identification (scanning VIN remotely)
- Vehicle is identified as a hybrid car
- Vehicle schematics and extrication plan are displayed on BWC
- Master cutoff is in trunk of car identified by the schematic,
- The trunk is opened, and the master power switch is turned to off
- Air-bag locations identified on the schematic are shown on BWC
- The passenger-door window is breached, and the door is opened
- One passenger begins to flee vehicle and is tackled by Police, who perform field biometric scan using fingerprint and facial recognition. Police confirm that the victim is a wanted suspect with outstanding warrants and is considered armed and dangerous.
- Driver climbs out via the passenger door and says that the person in the backseat has been out since the accident
- EMS gains access to the backseat of vehicle, and a sensor is placed on the victim to gain medical telemetry data
- Using a backboard, the backseat passenger is removed from the vehicle through a back passenger door
- The medical telemetry and video feed is sent to both the EMS team and the local hospital
- The victim is taken to the triage location, regains consciousness and is taken to local hospital.
- Third-due rescue officer informs chief extrication complete.
Ambulances clear and multiple tow vehicles arrive on scene. Fire continues to command incident and both passenger vehicles are removed. A larger tow truck arrives later and rights the propane truck. During the righting of the LP truck, both fire Teams 1 and 2 are in ready position.
The chief delivers the all-clear signal to dispatch by pressing the icon on the ICS screen and verbally confirming this with dispatch. When the all-clear message is given, Police inform residents that it is safe to return.
Dispatch removes priority override of commercial wireless networks.
EMS checks all fire personnel who donned SCBA for rehab and all are cleared.
Fire and EMS apparatus exit the location. The chief verifies that all personnel responding the incident have been accounted for. This is done by updating the personnel in each apparatus and confirming that the two arriving firefighters are reporting to the station, as well using the location-awareness capability on the BWCs.
Roads are reopened and all personnel report back to their stations.