(Joplin, MO) – On Thursday, October 26, Freeman Health System employees toured one of the new Mass Casualty/Communications trailers that serve as a key community asset — should the unthinkable occur.
Parked outside the Freeman Emergency Department, the trailer is equipped to provide rapid emergency aid and uninterrupted communications during a local or regional disaster like a tornado strike or mass shooting.
“We hope we never have to use them,” said Skip Harper, Freeman Health and Safety Officer, “but they’re here if needed.”
The system owns and operates two trailers; one based at Freeman Hospital West and the other at Freeman Neosho Hospital.
“No other hospital in the state of Missouri has two trailers like these,” Harper said. “We just want folks to know that if a disaster happens in Pittsburg, Kansas, or in McDonald County or Lamar, that they are available and ready to help.”
Each trailer is equipped with state-of-the-art 5G cellular data systems, wireless internet, satellite- and radio-communications systems, preventing a repeat of the “communication bubble” that descended across Joplin immediately following the May 22, 2011, tornado strike.
In addition, each trailer holds large quantities of life-saving equipment and medical supplies that can significantly boost support to EMS units responding to a mass casualty disaster in the field. Each trailer can triage or stabilize up to 200 trauma victims.
About Freeman Health System
Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center — the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services — as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2020, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2020. With more than 320 physicians on staff representing more than 80 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit freemanhealth.com.
Kevin McClintock, Media Relations Coordinator
Freeman Health System