Carlton Complex Fire
My BackgroundMoved to theMethowValley 1989Permanently moved back 2000My parents, siblings, aunts, uncle, cousins and many close friends live in theMethowValley.It is my community and my family.I have worked locallyGraduated in May 2014 from GonzagaWent to work in June 2014 as an ER provider at Three Rivers Hospital.
Driving home from work in the morning.Something was happeningFires had never been so closeDrove through the valley and saw fires all around, on both sides.Within hours:Word came that the pass to Omak would be closing cutting off our access to Mid Valley Hospital.
Power will be out within hours and last for weeks.Road to Brewster will most likely close soon as well.How would I get to work?What would this mean for my community? My family? My friends?The closest emergency room was in SedroWooley, almost 3 hours away over a mountain pass.
With all the smoke and fire, if we needed it, would a medical helicopter be able to transport in and out of our valley?I knew something needed to be done to help and a plan began to take shape that had its roots in the past with fellowMethowValley ER providers and other EMS personnel…How do we get ER services in theMethowValley?
I began making phone callsI did not have Cindy Buttons phone numberI did not have the hospital CEO cell phone number.Power was out, land lines were not working, only communication was with cell phones, and only with Verizon.Eventually I reached Cindy, we planned a meeting for Friday morning.
I texted and sentfacebookmessagesEventually I was able to reach our CEO Scott Graham who gave me the full hospital support to run a disaster satellite ER out of theAeroMethowbuilding inTwisp.Thursday night, the fire ravaged the entire valley through Pateros and forever changed the landscape.
Friday July 18th
Fires still burning, roads all closed, power out.I met with Cindy at AeroMethowand we came up with our plan.Use the buildingWork together as a teamI will have backup via cell phone with the hospital doctors and Wenatchee.
Supplies:I had roughly 10 minutes to text a supply list to the hospitalVicky Buzzard contacted her husbandOttiswho contacted the state patrol and they would be sending an officer to the hospital to pick up supplies and deliver them to us, driving down a valley on closed roads.
Local medical support:Shawn Maxwell, Kurt Hill andDr.RichardCampbellDr. Joe Jensen, his staff of KathyKirnerand KathleenManseauDr. Ann Diamond and DanielleMicheletti
Supplies arrivedTEAMWORK to get the room set upPaperwork: SOAP notes, obtained printer for drivers license and insurance informationPLAN: patients would get transported to aeromethowbuilding for me to assess and treat if we could.Obvious trauma would get either flown out, or if the roads were open transported to Chelan or Wenatchee.Saw my first patient that evening.
I stayed at theaeromethowbuilding during the time we were set up.4 hours without cell service7 patientsAwesome team work!!Dr.JimmyWallaceDr. Larry Smith
Power was still outFires were still ragingRoads to the hospital were openI had to leaveWe treated patients at a mobile Mash style disaster ER for 4 days. Flew one patient out, transported 2 via ground.Treated tourists and localsKept our EMS crews as close to home as possible!
Take home notes:
1. Have a supply list ready at all times:Disaster list and urgent care list2. Have a phone list posted at various locations, with cell numbers!3. Have conversations regarding billing and insurance first.4. KNOW YOUR RESOURCES!!
“What are my gifts?”Bringing foodOrganizingsuppliesAllocating waterChecking on the elderly at homeHeaving lifting, manual laborMedical needs: current licensure and liabilityCounseling for the victimsThe clean up, the months and years of re-building
Care for the workersDuring any disaster, take the time for self care, even if its 10 minutes of quiet time per day.Drink water and eat!You cannot give more of yourself if your too depleted!!And remember to talk to those around you, encourage laughter, positive attitude and teamwork!!!