ESO is Onsite at the 2017 Solar Eclipse
Four ESO employees are onsite in St. Joseph, Missouri, volunteering with local ESO customers as they prepare for the 2017 Solar Eclipse and the potential influx for local emergency services. Follow us here to see updates from our team in the field as they observe and assist in the day’s preparations and activities.
10:30 a.m. CDT (Corey Ricketson)
Traffic has been lighter than expected. Because there are more roads leading to this area, it’s less congested than some of the other eclipse viewing sites (like Illinois). As expected, there are tons of people, but temps have been lower because of scattered showers in the area. The showers could present additional challenges with response routes and transportation routes to hospitals. Also, cellular networks are failing already in Oregon moving east, so it’s an advantage that ESO software functions independent of connectivity.
Crews have already been sharing patient charts via mobile to mobile. Many agencies from across the state are here helping and they have all been linked. Each of the eclipse viewing sites, such as the airport and Heritage Park, have their own field treatment clinics. When a chart is begun at one of those sites, it’s then transferred to the incoming ambulance crew, who will transport the patient to the appropriate destination.
10:45 a.m. CDT (Chris French)
Atchison-Holt EMS District Chief Gene Bradley demonstrates Buchanan County’s Mobile Dispatch Center. It can be towed anywhere for dispatch operations for multiple agencies from one central communication point, with remote tie-in to the hospital.
11:30 a.m. CDT (Chris French)
Command Center for EMS Region H, supporting 9 EMS agencies from north and south Missouri.
12:10 p.m. CDT (Corey Ricketson)
The eclipse is starting in St. Joseph! We are on the ground, working with Buchanan County EMS, to prepare and respond to the crowds gathering.
12:39 p.m. CDT (Rich Cunningham)
Personnel are keeping a close eye on CCTV feeds from around the city, plus National Weather Service. Weather has moved in with heavy cloud cover and rain. People out viewing are trying to find cover. So far only a few people viewing have been transported to the local hospital.
1:00 p.m. CDT (Bryan Castleberry)
Rain just before near-total darkness. Traffic is slow but flowing.
1:15 p.m. CDT (Bryan Castleberry)
Eclipse. Weird to see total darkness in the middle of the day. Traffic still moving.
2:20 p.m. CDT (Corey Ricketson)
Despite the rain, we experienced darkness for approximately 2.5 minutes. The weather caused people to pack up early and move to other locations where they could view it more clearly, although perhaps not at 100% totality. Call volume in the Buchanan County area was much lower than expected, possibility due to poor viewing conditions. Overall, the amount of preparation and organization by Buchanan County and neighboring agencies was very impressive and certainly allowed for smoother EMS operations.