Mesa Fire Department explains importance of "mass casualty treatment" trucks

Posted at 10:42 PM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-24 01:42:56-04

It's a tool you never want to see used, but glad some fire departments have at their disposal. 

The Mesa Fire Department recently gave ABC15 an exclusive look inside at what's known as a "mass casualty treatment" truck. 

The sign on the side of the truck says "mass casualty," but Mesa Fire Captain Brian Hickey says it does a lot more than just respond to potentially catastrophic scenarios. 

"If you put your mind to it, you can do anything," Hickey explained.

Mesa Fire has two of these trucks that can respond to mass casualty situations like wildfires, mass shootings, and other tragedies, but it's also brought in to places like marathons, festivals or anywhere else you'd see a lot of people. 

"This is where we come into treating patients," explained Hickey. "This is nothing more than what we'd have on a fire engine."

Except it's multiplied. Between the two trucks, Mesa Fire has enough supplies to treat at least 100 patients. 

One truck holds a bulk of the supplies; the other truck holds special tents and power equipment that can be used to set up a makeshift hospital to house 30 patients. 

"We bring the calming to the storm and coordination to it," Hickey said.

Mesa isn't the only department with these mass casualty trucks. Phoenix, Glendale, and Tucson also have two each. They can even join forces to support one another in a large scale disaster situation.