Emergency medical services response to a major freeway bridge collapse

John L. Hick, Jeffrey D. Ho, William G. Heegaard, Douglas D. Brunette, Anne Lapine, Tom Ward, Joseph E. Clinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: The Interstate 35W Bridge in Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi River on August 1, 2007, killing 13 people and injuring 127. Methods: This article describes the emergency medical services response to this incident. Results/Discussion: Complexities of the event included difficult patient access, multiple sectors of operation, and multiple mutual-aid agencies. Patient evacuation and transportation was rapid, with the collapse zone cleared of victims 95 minutes after the initial 9-1-1 call. A common regional emergency medical service incident management plan that was exercised was critical to the success of the response. Conclusions: Communication and patient tracking difficulties could be improved in future responses. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2008;2(Suppl 1):S17-S24).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S17-S24
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Issue numberSUPPL.1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008


  • Emergency medical services
  • Mass casualty incident
  • Triage


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