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Emergency dispatch tapes excerpts from Mason-Dixon Dragway accident

August 07, 2002

Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from radio transmissions among Washington County Emergency Services 911 dispatcher Bill King, unidentified medics from Mount Aetna Fire Department and Boonsboro Ambulance and Rescue Inc., Washington County Hospital and a Maryland State Police flight medic dealing with a Friday, Aug. 2, accident at the Mason-Dixon Dragway.

Several garbled, static-filled transmissions were omitted. Transmissions that did not relate to the incident also were omitted.

5:23 p.m.: Initial call from a medic on the scene to the 911 center.

Medic: "Start medic unit at drag strip incident with a four-wheeler."

King: "Do you want a helicopter?"

Medic: "Yes, go ahead and start one for now."

5:30 p.m.: Medic: "When is the helicopter due?"

King: "Trooper 5 out of Cumberland, helicopter ETA 30 minutes."

5:32 p.m.: (Paraphrased because of garble)

Boonsboro Ambulance and Rescue Inc. arrives on the scene after the Mount Aetna medic asks for more manpower. Once Boonsboro arrives, its crew takes charge of treating the patient, who was reported to be combative and vomiting from the mouth.

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5:34 p.m.: King: "Headquarters to dragstrip. Is the patient stable?"

Medic: "Unstable patient at this time."

King: "Hospital said they can take the patient because the patient is unstable."

(Paraphrased because of garble)

King further advises the medic that Washington County Hospital's trauma surgeon is busy and the patient will ultimately have to be flown to the University of Maryland Shock-Trauma Center in Baltimore after being stabilized. King reiterates that the hospital said it would take the patient if he was unstable.

King learns that Trooper 5 is unavailable and contacts Trooper 3, stationed in Frederick, Md.

The Frederick pilot notifies King that he can take the trauma patient but first needs to refuel in Frederick. The pilot suggests the patient be taken to the Myersville Fire Department and wait for the helicopter to arrive because that is on the way to the Shock-Trauma Center.

Much of what follows is garbled until 5:39 p.m., when a medic tells King they will take the patient to Myersville and to have the helicopter meet them.

5:49 p.m.: All parties have been notified of the rendezvous point at Myersville.

5:42 p.m.: The ambulance leaves the drag strip.

6:20 p.m.: The helicopter lands in Myersville and the flight medic evaluates the patient.

6:32 p.m.: The helicopter takes off for Shock-Trauma with the patient.

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