Years ago I was working with New York City as an EMT out of Queens General Hospital. I remember being in shock after picking up an otherwise non-ill appearing man who gave a complaint that I currently cannot recall. We took him in a city ambulance to the local hospital. The part that shocked me was that he never entered the hospital. He thanked us and proceeded to go across the street to do his shopping. He never was sick and never intended to enter the ED doors. We served as free transportation for him.
It seems as if the overall system for Emergency Medical Care is in need of reinvention. A centrally controlled scene command, an assurance of minimal skill and proficiency for EMTs and first responders, and an ability of hospitals to have a built in cushion to absorb patients, are all core components of an effective disaster preparedness system. This reinvention must be realized on a state or regional level. Failure to address these issues could prove disastrous in the future if such circumstances ever reoccurred