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ACAA Start Team Provides Added Benefit at PIT


PITTSBURGH, PA (August 26, 2009)—When Allegheny County Airport Authority performs its Triennial Drill at Pittsburgh International Airport on Wednesday, August 26, the START team will be an important part of the response.

The Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (START) team is a group of about 30 Allegheny County Airport Authority employees trained to assist the Airport Authority Fire Department and Valley Ambulance in the event of an emergency on airport property. Team members would be first to respond to the scene and would begin an initial assessment of the victims.

“Members of the START team volunteered for this duty and are trained in basic first aid and emergency response. This concept is new for airports and we may be the only facility using a START team,” said Bradley D. Penrod, Executive Director/CEO, Allegheny County Airport Authority.

“The START team enhances our ability to respond in an emergency and to assist public safety in the first critical moments at the onset of an airport incident,” said Stephanie Saracco, Chief Operating Officer, Allegheny County Airport Authority.

“The goal of the START team is to provide immediate care and remove non-critically injured patients from the scene of the incident,” said Saracco. “This is a better use of the resources available since it gives the firefighters and EMS professionals an opportunity to help patients who are more critically wounded.”

START team members are trained to help non-critically injured victims with immobilization (putting the patients on backboards) and packaging (covering the patients to protect them from weather). They must then transport the injured persons to a triage for treatment.

The START team originated three years ago and is unique to Pittsburgh International Airport. This is second full scale drill that the START team has participated in.

“The START team is a great asset to have in an emergency situation because it allows the Fire Department and Valley Ambulance to handle other issues that are going on at the scene,” said Saracco.


Aug 25, 2009