Mo. Paramedics Respond to Mass Casualty Incident on Lake
July 20—At approximately 7:15 pm, TCAD Paramedics responded to Table Rock Lake, in the vicinity of the Showboat Branson Belle, for a reported capsized Ride the Ducks boat. At the same time, Taney and Stone counties were under a severe thunderstorm warning, for thunderstorms approaching from the northwest with severe winds and large hail.
Initial reports indicated there were 30 people in the water. Additional reports indicated there were multiple injuries and CPR in progress. TCAD Paramedics Communication Center activated the Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) protocol. TCAD Paramedics responded with 3 EMS supervisors, 6 TCAD ambulances and requested mutual aid from surrounding ambulance services. Additionally, an all call was sent out for off-duty personnel to staff additional ambulances and the TCAD Paramedics Emergency Operations Center was brought online to help manage resources.
TCAD paramedics can confirm 7 patients have been transported to local hospitals with varying degrees of injury. Additionally, there have been 17 confirmed fatalities. TCAD Paramedics remained on-scene well into the overnight hours while divers from Western Taney County Fire and the Missouri State Water Patrol continued searching for victims.
Mass Casualty Incidents (MCI), especially incidents involving children, can take a heavy emotional toll on first responders. TCAD Paramedics placed additional ambulances in-service during and after the incident to take the workload off of the paramedics who responded to the MCI. TCAD Human Resources ensured personnel were made available for peer-to-peer counseling through out the night. TCAD paramedics have contacted our insurance provider and the Employee Assistance Program to provide additional counseling and emotional support services to personnel who may need it.
From the TCAD paramedics family, we extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to the victims, families and friends of this tragic incident.