"Mass casualty incident" - First responders recall scene of deck - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

"Mass casualty incident" - First responders recall scene of deck collapse

Posted: Updated:
Dozens of people were hurt in the deck collapse, some critically. (MTN News photo) Dozens of people were hurt in the deck collapse, some critically. (MTN News photo)

Dozens of people are still recovering after a deck collapsed south of Lakeside on Saturday.

It was a day that was supposed to be about remembering, but a memorial service turned into a nightmare.

More than 50 people were hurt, some severely, after a deck collapsed at Spruce Lodge, a log cabin-style facility located on the west shore of Flathead Lake.

Brian Reed with the Lakeside Quick Response Unit said around 4:30 p.m. a 911 caller reported a deck had collapsed with around 30 people on it. Reed was the first responder to arrive on scene.

"When we got there we found right off the bat we had patients, about 30 to 40 patients," Reed said, adding that with so many people hurt he assessed the situation as "a mass casualty incident" and called for more assistance.

Lake County Sheriff Don Bell arrived on scene shortly after.

"They already had ambulances in route. They called for air-ambulances," Bell said.

He added that he saw first responders from across the northwest Montana attending to the hurt - which ranged from children to elderly.

 "Getting people stabilized, whether it was the ankle, or head, or shoulder," Bell said of the initial medical efforts.

"Of the more than 50 people hurt, more than half of them were taken to Kalispell Regional Medical Center where doctors say many had bone and ankle fractures as well as neurological injuries that required immediate surgery. Two of those patients are still in critical condition," Bell said.

Other patients were taken to hospitals in Whitefish, Polson, Ronan and Missoula.

The camp released this statement:

"We had a major accident at camp. Please join us in praying for the injured and their families. We are grateful to all of the EMTs and Paramedics, fire departments and first responders who came to our aid We ask for your prayers for all involved."

Bell also released a statement Sunday:

"From my observation the crews worked as one team and got the task in front of them done with a professional manner with compassion. What a great job done by the teams."

There was no immediate information on what caused the deck to collapse. The Spruce Lodge is described as a top notch facility on Glacier Camp's website. It was built in 2004.

MTN News has also learned that because the memorial was for a longtime Flathead Valley firefighter there were members from several agencies and fire departments there at the time of the collapse. If not for their quick action, the outcome could have been much worse.

Powered by Frankly

© KTVQ.com 2018, KTVQ.com
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?