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Multiple emergency departments debrief I-80 fatal crash

Posted at 10:25 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 23:25:13-05

GREENWOOD, Neb. (KMTV) — Greenwood Fire and Rescue was the first department to arrive on scene of the fatal I-80 crash on Sunday, Dec. 15.

They were followed by multiple other agencies that showed up to help.

"First and foremost, we are going to look to protect the patients," Greenwood Fire Chief Mark Sobota said. "We have to count the number of patients and what kind of condition they are in."

Greenwood Fire & Rescue, Ashland Fire, Eagle Fire and Rescue, Murdock Fire, Gretna Rescue, Louisville Fire & Rescue, Nebraska State Patrol, Alvo Fire, Cass County and the Nebraska Department of Transportation were on scene just moments after the crash was reported.

Sobota says all departments immediately started working together to save lives, deescalate the situation and direct growing traffic.

"I called for everybody that I could think of," Sobota said. "I was glad to have every one of them because if you have it and don't need it, it's a lot better then needing it and can't find it."

On Tuesday Dec. 17, most of these departments gathered to discuss what went right and where they can improve.

In the case of the fatal I-80 crash, Sobota says they did the best the could considering the circumstances.

A medical expert from CHI Health Bergan Mercy Trauma, agreed.

"Were we overwhelmed? We are supposed to be overwhelmed," an employee with CHI Health Bergan Mercy Trauma said. "We had a perfect heads up on that as far as we are concerned."

He said the medical professionals were warned of incoming patients and were able to prepare in advance.

As for what they would like to see change, Sobota said people need to have patience when they come to a scene, not take photos and let first responders do their jobs.