Medical Emergency Response Planning for Remote Sites

Last month, we completed a comprehensive risk assessment for a seismic data acquisition company operating at a remote job site in Wyoming. Serving as both a senior paramedic and a remote area health and safety consultant, RMI’s Andy Kimmell spent two weeks on-site enhancing the company’s health, safety, and environment (HSE) plan. Kimmell, a former Special Operations Combat Medic for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, put his background to work and collaborated with local life-flight and emergency services to create emergency action plans. He surveyed and mapped helicopter landing zones, identified terrain that would require high angle rescue capabilities, and made recommendations for customized evacuation equipment such as litter-mounted ATVs.

“We’re passionate about providing phenomenal patient care wherever we go in the world,” said Kimmell. “We specialize in austere settings and demand excellent patient care from our team in every environment.”

Kimmell worked with the company’s individual surveyors, HSE advisers, and project managers to locate safety concerns for the land seismic job. After close examination of the site’s terrain, topography, and weather, Kimmell and RMI’s consulting team prepared a detailed risk review that included recommend solutions for remote-area risks such as high-altitude and rugged terrain that’s inaccessible by vehicle and located long distances from definitive care.

“By being involved in the risk assessment stage, we allow companies to provide better patient care,” said Kimmell. “We don’t just identify risk factors, we create a team atmosphere that unites local medical providers under the goal of patient care and safety.”

Rather than simply locating the nearest hospital, Remote Medical International’s assessment included locating and establishing relationships with appropriate medical facilities that provide specific life-saving interventions. Kimmel’s risk assessment, for example, included the location of the nearest cardiac catheterization lab, neurosurgery unit, burn center, thrombolytic therapy providers, and other critical care providers.

In the event of significant on-site trauma, Kimmell’s medical emergency response plan provides comprehensive tools for urgent evacuations. From primary care to major medical and traumatic emergencies, strategically placed medics can minimize lost time for its clients while creating a safe and stable work environment for employees. Completing a risk assessment and using that to inform your medical emergency response plan (MERP) is the first step in figuring out appropriate providers, equipment, and clinic locations.

“It was great to get to the heart of this company,” said Kimmell. “Many of the employees’ families stay with them at the job site, and they’re able to rest easy and focus on the job at hand knowing that we have a health and safety plan for that accounts for and includes everyone.”

As a result of Remote Medical International’s consultation, the job site surveyed by Kimmell in August will include strategically placed ALS paramedics, advanced life support gear, primary care medicine, and a customized solution for onsite health and safety management at this remote site..

“Our specialty is comprehensive medical support and being able to do that anywhere in the world is exciting,” said Kimmell. “We find the best and most efficient way to prevent and respond to both critical and non-critical health and safety incidents – and more importantly prevent them in the first place. That’s the bottom line that has me jumping at the chance to provide these services.”