Humboldt General Hospital's EMS Rescue Department will join forces
with Black Rock City LLC to provide medical services on the Black Rock
Desert this Labor Day weekend.
Burning Man 2014 will take place from Monday, August 25 through Monday,
September 1, approximately 70 miles northwest of Winnemucca, Nevada.
The event, which organizers say is an annual experiment in temporary community
dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance, attains
status as one of Nevada's largest cities—for one week each year.
"With tens of thousands of people, there is an obvious need for a
wide range of medical services," said Humboldt General Hospital Emergency
Medical Services Rescue Chief Pat Songer. "Our competent, compassionate
skill set is a great complement and partnership with Black Rock City's
Emergency Services Department."
The Black Rock City Emergency Services Department (ESD) also provides medical,
fire, mental health and communications services in the temporary city.
In 2011, HGH EMS Rescue signed a five-year contract with Burning Man officials
to provide a municipal style EMS system much like those in most other
cities in the United States.
Not only does HGH EMS Rescue provide advanced life-support ambulance service
within Black Rock City, but HGH EMS Rescue staffs a medical clinic that
is open 24/7 during the entirety of the event; the group also handles
all ground transports to Reno hospitals.
The joint HGH and ESD EMS teams are also supported by the Black Rock City
ESD Fire Branch, which operates three 24-hour stations equipped with fire
engines that can function in a first-responder EMS role and provide additional
support on hazardous material, technical, and rescue incidents.
More than 300 doctors, nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians
and other medical professionals will staff the 2,000-square-foot medical
clinic during this year's Burning Man. The mobile unit will include
32 beds and laboratory facilities. Eight advanced life-support ambulances
will be on call around the clock.
Songer said his team will be ready to handle the challenges of a desertscape
where temperatures routinely reach 100 degrees.
"We are preparing for the kinds of incidents that can normally affect
a city of 70,000 people," he said, "sudden cardiac incidents,
stroke, infection, pregnancy, flu. But we are also preparing for heat-related
incidents, injuries, exhaustion and the other kinds of things that lend
themselves to this harsher environment."
Songer continued, "We are committed to ensuring the very best care
for Black Rock City's participants."
Humboldt General Hospital CEO/Administrator Jim Parrish said all 250-plus
members of the HGH team stand ready to assist with HGH EMS Rescue's
efforts at this year's Burning Man.
"We are committed to our EMS team and to this event," said Parrish.
"We are very confident in their ability to deliver superior care
to the residents of Black Rock City, and we are looking forward to a continued
relationship with Black Rock City LLC."
Humboldt General Hospital Emergency Medical Services Rescue is one of only
six CAAS-certified ambulance services in Nevada, and the only rural agency
to achieve CAAS distinction.
The agency has been hailed by
EMS Magazine as the standard-bearer for rural emergency medical services in the United
States, not only for members' medical response efforts but also for
their rescue and hazardous materials response and tactical training and support.
The group operates one of the nation's leading ground transportation
services and has been featured in the
Wall Street Journal for their innovative use of portable ultrasound in the field.
The agency has also been named a national "EMS 10 Innovator"
twice by the
Journal of Emergency Medical Services, in 2011 and again in 2013.