Technology changes the scene for first responders
GONZALES - First responders in Louisiana tested the state's emergency response system to get ready for hurricane season this week.
Teams from across Louisiana took a test run of the multi-state emergency response system, Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) Mobilization Unit. Just like in a real emergency, everyone checks in, gets updated on dangerous situations in the area, and gets sent to where they're needed most.
The EMS Supervisor for St. Charles Parish, E.J. Hanhart, says the system has come a long way since Katrina, and even Isaac. He says in the past equipment got mixed up between crews, they ran out of supplies and some groups had no records of being in the area. Now, everyone and everything is identified and accounted for.
"As a responder, when you know you need more help, and you've got several patients laying around, you know that you're going to have those resources to call. You know, who you're going to call. It's going to feel a lot more comforting to the first people on the scene," explained Hanhart.
The drill is hosted by the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. The EMAC Personnel Accountability and Processing Plan (EPAPP) is the same system used across the country for emergency responders.