Tuesday, September 16, 2003
The Save A Life Foundation hosted its Second Annual “Bridge the Gap Summit” on September 16-17, 2003 in the Northwest Hall at the Chicago Hilton in Illinois. This Summit attracted officialsin medicine, first response, public safety, education, and corporate business, for panel discussionsand guest speaking opportunities, in attempt to develop a strategic plan that would "Bridge TheGap" between the onset of a disaster until EMS arrival. Summit participants and attendees, manyof who were representatives from law enforcement, firefighting, emergency medical services,municipal and state government, hospitals, schools, and media, were encouraged to work alongsidethe panelists and speakers by asking questions and adding their expertise to discussion to identifyexisting problems, and to voice concerns, opinions, and “best practices” in the solution of “Bridging the Gap.”The primary topic of concern of those in attendance was well stated by Guest Speaker, the FirstLady of Arkansas, Mrs. Janet Huckabee. She encouraged all audience members to includeteenagers and children in their emergency preparedness and response plans, while emphasizing allcitizens to “share their recipes” for success. To conclude her speech, she stated that she looksforward to the day all U.S. citizens will have the camaraderie of the firefighters on September 11,2001.The seven panels over the two-day Summit included:
1) First Responder Panel;
panelistsdiscussed their personal use of life supporting first aid, and their desire for a regimented form of CPR training services; they introduced and discussed the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System(MABAS); explained their inter department interactions, and defined the criteria of a “disaster.”
2)Emergency Management Panel;
panelists discussed the old and new processes in managingemergencies on all levels of government; the federal mandates and leadership chains in handlingemergencies, and the strategies to improve health and medical response in a disaster.
panelists discussed the rescue and stabilization of victims during mass trauma events; personal involvement in large disasters and invention of first aid materials; resource allocation;Rapid Response Teams, and their involvement with SALF.
4) Education Panel;
panelistsdiscussed the need for teachers and students to be trained in life supporting first aid, and howSALF is a perfect fit for this goal; the book
Emergency Management Plan
within the ChicagoPublic Schools; a goal to have lunchroom monitors trained in the Heimlich Maneuver; training busdrivers, and preparing students to be a “small army” of assistance in times of emergency.
panelists discussed their involvement in emergency preparedness andmanagement within their corporations; partnerships with other organizations to respond toemergencies; technology’s involvement in ‘bridging the gap,’ and implementing SALF programsin their corporations.
6) Mayors’ Panel;
panelists defined the true meaning of the word,“disaster”—it can involve only one person; their call for a regimented, simple answer to the issueof emergency preparedness; their use of emergency response plans and volunteers in the past, andthe future of emergency preparedness and response in communities.
7) Life Supporting First AidPanel;
consisting of SALF instructors, these individuals gave first-hand accounts of their work with SALF, and verified the benefits of the SALF programs.