Title: Limited medical perspective at a strategic level in relation to mass casualty incidents in Swedish tunnels

Authors: Isabelle Stjerna Doohan; Britt-Inger Saveman; Lina Gyllencreutz

Addresses: Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Umeå University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden; Police Education Unit, Umeå University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden ' Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Umeå University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden ' Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Umeå University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden

Abstract: Mass casualty incidents (MCI) in tunnels can result in devastating consequences. Despite this, there is a knowledge gap in the perspectives and experiences of strategic stakeholders in relation to the emergency medical response to MCI in tunnels. This study aims to explore and describe this issue. The study includes 11 interview participants from the emergency services organisations and governmental and municipal organisations in Sweden. The results indicate that the medical perspective is inadequately represented at a strategic level due, among other, to limited input from emergency medical representatives during planning stages and a lack of social networks. The results implicate a need to create and improve networks among the stakeholders from the involved organisations. Emergency medical personnel should not only be acknowledged for their expertise but should also be included to a greater extent in the planning stages and exercises. Medical and rescue personnel need time to jointly discuss how they, in the best way, can save lives in tunnel MCIs.

Keywords: tunnel safety; mass casualty incident; emergency medical services; rescue services; police services; collaboration; emergency services; emergency management; qualitative studies; interviews.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2019.10025984

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2019 Vol.15 No.4, pp.360 - 374

Received: 20 Dec 2018
Accepted: 15 Sep 2019

Published online: 18 Dec 2019 *

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