The events in Boston on April 15th, 2013, remind us once again how vulnerable our society is to terrorist activity. They further remind us how important our vigilance is to maintain a watchful eye and report to authorities anything which seems unusual, that could pose a threat to our security.

In addition, the response by our colleagues in Boston, EMS, medical professionals and public safety personnel showed how efficient and well trained individuals can reduce death and disability that result from such attacks. It was clear when we watched Boston EMS, and the other first responders, swing into action, that their operations are top-notch. That they were prepared and had planned long and hard for such an event.

We are proud of them and the risks they took to attend to the injured immediately after the bombs exploded. We are proud of their calm, cool professionalism, the dedication to their community they showed, the efficient way they performed their duties and the resilience they demonstrated throughout the event.

While we admire our colleagues in Boston, we should re-examine our own operations, assure our disaster and MCI plans are up-to-date and readily available, that our resources are ready to go and that our personnel are trained and well versed in our procedures for these events. We must also be ever mindful of our personnel’s safety and remind them of how to respond in the first moments after such an attack occurs;

From Brain LaCroix, EMS Director of Allina Health “When responding to either a bomb threat or a reported explosion, it is important to conduct a 360 scan. A 360 scan involves carefully surveying the entire area and literally turning your body in a complete circle (don’t assume a threat isn’t behind you) all the while visually scanning both high and low. It is important to note anything or anyone that looks out of place and report it to law enforcement. The natural tendency of most people is to become fixated on that which is most dramatic and/or to look only straight ahead and not look up or down. One military strategy includes scanning the ground in concentric circles starting at your feet followed by scanning 5 feet away, 15 feet away, etc.”