The Philadelphia Police Department's practice of "scoop-and-run" during last year's Amtrak crash - transporting injured victims to hospitals instead of waiting for ambulances - meant that the injured were unevenly distributed at area hospitals in the hours after the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday. But no "significant negative medical outcomes" occurred as a result, the board concluded, and the police rush to get victims to a hospital meant that the first injured victim was already receiving care by the time a triage operation had been set up at the Train 188 crash site.
The board recommended that the city develop a plan to systematically work scoop-and-run into its emergency response plan, including a method for better spreading patients among hospitals. The NTSB said the city's emergency responders should communicate better during mass-casualty events. Because police and fire radio communications are largely separate in Philadelphia, the board said, the city should work to integrate the Police Department into its emergency transportation plans.
The city decided to update its emergency response plan after a previous NTSB report, and will now require those transporting victims to hospitals to check in with a transportation coordinator first.