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Disaster First Aid Station project coming to Campbell River

Two clinics in city to host stations
The Campbell River and District Division of Family Practice is launching its Disaster First Aid Station Pilot Initiative. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell Riverites are a bit better prepared for a disaster, thanks to a Disaster First Aid Station (DFAS) initiative run by the Campbell River and District Division of Family Practice (CRDDFP).

A DFAS is a medical clinic in Campbell River that provides first aid and basic medical care to the public in the case of a disaster. Two locations are offering this service, Mountainview Medical Centre on Dogwood Street and the Alder Medical Centre on Evergreen Road.

“People will now notice DFAS signage at Alder Medical Clinic and the Mountainview Medical Centre. In the event of a disaster another sign reading ‘Activated’ will let the public know that this location has transitioned from clinic duties to mass casualty care,” said CRDDFP Executive Director Jody MacDonald. “This pilot program would not have been possible without the support of doctors Jan Coetzee and Louis de Bruin. Over the past year we have been engaged in discussions and exercises focused on how clinics can provide mass casualty surge support. Currently our focus is refining the plan, providing more training and procuring care supplies for these sites. Our intention is to continue to expand this program.”

Campbell River is not the first community on Vancouver Island to run such a program. The local version is an extension of the DFAS program launched in the Comox Valley Regional District. The news release from CRDDFP says that their plan “centres on increasing patient treatment capacity.”

A Natural Resources Canada model shows that following a major earthquake, Campbell River would see “65 fatalities, 35 patients who require critical care and 850 people who will require non-critical first aid care,” the press release says.

“This model can not estimate the secondary affects of a major earthquake such as fires, after-shocks and liquefaction so these statistics of people who will require care are likely conservative ones.”

“It has been a pleasure to support the CRDDFP with this progressive initiative” said Strathcona Regional District Protective Services Coordinator Shaun Koopman “I understand that so many in our health care sector are going full throttle every single day so the time and energy they have spent to set up this additional pilot program speaks leaps and bounds about the quality and dedication of these personnel to our community.”

To prevent yourself from needing medical care after a major earthquake, here are some ways you can minimize your risk of injury:

- To prevent injuries from flying glass, apply safety film to windows and glass doors.

- Anchor large appliances to walls using safety cables or straps.

- Install ledge barriers on shelves and secure large, heavy items and breakables directly to shelves to keep them from falling.

- Anchor filing cabinets and televisions to walls.

- Hang mirrors and pictures with closed hooks.

RELATED: No tsunami threat after multiple earthquakes off the coast of northern Vancouver Island

Early-morning earthquake jolts Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland

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