KANSAS CITY — Johnson County Emergency Management Agency Director Troy Armstrong helped provide logistic and medical support during the Kansas City Chiefs victory parade and rally on Wednesday, Feb. 5.
Armstrong served as the planning section chief and paramedic for the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency’s (SEMA) Disaster Medical Assistance Team (MO-1 DMAT) during the parade as the Kansas City Fire Department expected more than 1 million people to attend the parade.
Armstrong and the DMAT team were tasked with developing a Mobilization Plan and an Incident Action Plan while also providing logistical and medical support to the local organizations.
The Mobilization and Incident Action plans were specific to DMAT’s operations and specified how the team would fit into the healthcare operation in place in Kansas City.
Armstrong said DMAT provided more of a logistical support role as it was able to provide tents and equipment, whereas the KCFD and Medical KC provided the bulk of medical providers.
“We still had some medical people on sight: paramedics, RNs and a doctor,” Armstrong said.
The KCFD and KC Medical had personnel stationed throughout the parade route and if they were to come across an injured individual, they would bring the individual to one of the tents DMAT members were stationed at.
DMAT deployed two medical tents for the parade, with one tent acting as DMATs primary field site with five adult and four pediatric beds while the other tent had five adult beds.
After an individual had been brought to the tent, DMAT team members decided if the individual would need to be transferred to the hospital or if they could be treated on site to lessen the burden of an emergency room trip.
Armstrong said he and the DMAT team witnessed several injuries throughout the event.
“The most common injury, of course, was intoxication,” Armstrong said. “We saw several severely intoxicated people to the point where they were not conscious. There were traumatic injuries from people doing things they probably wouldn’t have done if they were sober.”
Armstrong said the major incidents included a Kansas City Police Department pursuit that came in close proximity of one of the DMAT sites and a man who fell after attempting to climb a tree.
“The police reported just a handful of arrests so I think people were good about being well-behaved and not having a lot of issues,” Armstrong said.
In addition to KCFD and KC Medical, DMAT worked with a number of other mutual aid partners from areas such as Higginsville, Belton, South Metro and Harrisonville.
Armstrong said working with this wide range of organizations was a great experience as well as a useful one.
“It was interesting to see how that mutual aid aspect came together and how all of the organizations and teams were able to integrate into one big healthcare system,” Armstrong said. “It was awesome to do that networking and see how we can integrate that so if we do have a disaster, we already have those relationships built pre-disaster.”