April 24, 1998

Readiness is all

Readiness is all

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A long line of gurneys was set up outside of VUMC's Emergency Department in preparation for casualties of last week's storm. (Photo by Donna Jones Bailey).

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Dr. John Morris summed up VUMC's response" "We're as ready as we can be, and we're as ready as we need to be/"

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Storm victims head for the Emergency Room.

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[Bottom] All eyes were on the sky last Thursday afternoon.

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Nurse Ann Eischeid keeps the team in the Pediatric Emergency Department informed.

Every once in awhile, Mother Nature reminds us of her awesome power.

That happened last Thursday, when severe storms and tornadoes ravaged Nashville and Middle Tennessee, forging a path of destruction that claimed eight lives and injured hundreds more.

VUMC personnel quickly moved into "Mass Casualty Alert" mode. In the first hectic hours after the storm struck, it was unclear how many people were injured and how many would be transported to Vanderbilt. To more quickly care for the expected flood of patients, a triage area was established outside the Emergency Department entrance.

Casualties, however, turned out to be relatively light, especially considering the level of devastation that took place across the Midstate. VUMC personnel were prepared for what could happen – not what everyone prayed would happen.