MCHD also a proud sponsor and participant of special events in Montgomery County such as IRONMAN, Kids don’t float and Shattered Lives. These are just some of the ways MCHD gives back to the community.
Kids Don’t Float – 2014
The Montgomery County Hospital District joined forces with the Montgomery County Constable for Precinct 1, the US Coast Guard and the US Army Corps of Engineers for a Water Safety Day on Saturday, August 23rd. The event is from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM at the Lake Conroe Park located at 14968 Hwy 105 West.
Water Safety Day is coordinated by MCHD’s Guy Gleisberg and Alicia Williams to educate parents and their children about water safety. Gleisberg, who is the Research & Quality Improvement Coordinator for MCHD’s Clinical Department, previously worked as a Fire Fighter, Medic and Rescue Diver in Wisconsin where he searched for drowning victims. “It is something that I will never forget. The look on the parent’s faces when we were searching for their son or daughter was heart breaking,” said, Gleisberg. Gleisberg, who moved to Montgomery County 3 years ago, noticed an influx of families at Lake Conroe Park on Hwy 105 when he drove by on the weekends. What Guy did not know, is that the park has been the scene of their own recoveries when children simply disappeared into the murky lake water. “I wanted educate the parents on water safety. I wanted to let parents know that drowning is actually a silent event,” said, Gleisberg.
With the help of Williams, MCHD’s Healthcare Assistance Program Quality Analyst, they called in the troops. The Montgomery County Hospital District, the Montgomery County Constable Precinct 1, US Army Corps of Engineers as well as the US Coast Guard, join forces to educate families on water safety at the Lake Conroe Park each year. MCHD donated a life jacket loaner station to the park that allows parents to borrow life jackets for their children while they swim in the lake. “If this campaign saves one child’s life… we have done our job,” said, Gleisberg.
“Drowning does not always involve arms trashing around and yelling for help like you might anticipate. In fact, in the real world, it is actually a very quite event.”
Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. In many childhood drownings, an adult is nearby, but are not aware the child is drowning. From 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 347 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents. About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. More than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments (EDs) require hospitalization or transfer for further care (compared with a hospitalization rate of about 6% for all unintentional injuries). These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).
Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male.
Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates.
Among children ages 1 to 4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools.
Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1-4 than any other cause except congenital anomalies (birth defects).
Learn life-saving skills. Everyone should know the basics of swimming (floating, moving through the water) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Fence it off. Install a four–sided isolation fence, with self–closing and self–latching gates, around backyard swimming pools. This can help keep children away from the area when they aren’t supposed to be swimming. Pool fences should completely separate the house and play area from the pool.
Make life jackets a “must.” Make sure kids wear life jackets in and around natural bodies of water, such as lakes or the ocean, even if they know how to swim. Life jackets can be used in and around pools for weaker swimmers too.
Be on the look-out. When kids are in or near water (including bathtubs), closely supervise them at all times. Adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like, reading books, talking on the phone, and using alcohol or drugs.
2014 Ironman Press Release
MCHD EMS is Prepared for 18,000 Contestants and Spectators to descend in The Woodlands for IRONMAN 2014 – 8 Additional Ambulances, 20 Bike Teams and 10 ATV’s
May 15, 2014 – Conroe, Texas – The Montgomery County Hospital District, an official sponsor of the fourth annual Ironman Texas, is geared up for this year’s Triathlon. With more than 2,500 participants, 4,000 volunteers and 18,000 people descending in the heart of The Woodlands, MCHD will have an additional 8 Medic Units, 2 Supervisors, 20 Bike Teams and 10 ATV’s available for medical emergencies on Saturday, May 17th. “MCHD EMS was called to assist over 662 patients during last year’s IRONMAN with 50 transports to area hospitals,” said Randy Johnson, MCHD CEO. “We are more than prepared to meet the emergency medical needs for this year’s event.” Medical emergencies ranged from auto pedestrian accidents, electrolyte imbalances, heat exhaustion, scrapes and bruises.
Dr. Mark Escott, MCHD Medical Director, is urging participates and spectators to drink plenty of water several days before the event, stay out of the heat as much as possible, wear plenty of sunscreen and do not ignore the early signs of heat exhaustion such as profuse sweating, weakness, muscle cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting.
IRONMAN will begin at North Shore Park with a 2.4-mile swim in Lake Woodlands, then progress onto a 112 -mile bike course to the west side of the county, then a 26.2- mile run throughout The Woodlands ending at Market Square. Law enforcement will be controlling most intersections throughout the area. MCHD is asking drivers in the area to be aware of their surroundings and to be patient. For more information about where MCHD EMS will be stationed during the event please contact MCHD Public Information Manager, Jennifer Nichols-Contella at (936) 523-1134.
(Texas Traffic Impact for Ironman attached)
More information on Heat exhaustion:
Heat exhaustion is a heat-related illness that can occur after you’ve been exposed to high temperatures for several days and have become dehydrated.
There are two types of heat exhaustion:
- Water depletion. Signs include excessive thirst, weakness, headache, and loss of consciousness.
- Salt depletion. Signs include nausea and vomiting, frequent muscle cramps, and dizziness.Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
- The most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- Although heat exhaustion isn’t as serious as heat stroke, it isn’t something to be taken lightly. Without proper intervention, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which can damage the brain and other vital organs, and even cause death.
- Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
- Muscle cramps
- Pale skin
- Profuse sweating
- Rapid heartbeat
Conroe Courier – Ironman athletes tell why they do it………
Heart surgery survivor Jon Tortorici competed in his second full Ironman Saturday in The Woodlands.
Tortorici, of Tomball, had a rare case of AV-FIB and had surgery at age 28.
Now, 40, he trained 14-22 hours a week for the past six months to prepare for Ironman Texas.
“Just finishing on my feet is all I care about,” Tortorici said.
This was Scott Gentry’s first Ironman. Gentry, owner of Gentry Classic Homes in Conroe, volunteered at last year’s event.
“I went to the finish line with some friends and that was it,” Gentry said. “I signed up for Ironman. It’s about commitment, pushing oneself into places that aren’t comfortable and then finding out how to smile in that place. It’s a way to inspire others and be an example.”
Heidi Miller, 43, a stay-at-home mom from California, said she needed a challenge.
“Everyone’s crazy, right? For me, marathons get boring after awhile. I needed a challenge after being at home with my kids,” Miller said.
Two of her girlfriends, ages 54 and 57, who are from the East Coast, met her here and they all competed together.
“It’s a girl’s trip,” Miller said. “They inspire me. If they can do it, I can do it.”
Her best time, at a previous Ironman, was 13 hours and 44 minutes.
“Can you believe that, 13 hours of constant motion,” she said.
Miller wasn’t the only one in constant motion.
More than 2,500 people registered for this year’s Fourth Annual Ironman Texas.
About 4,000 volunteers and an additional 18,000 people descended in the heart of The Woodlands to either watch, cheer or help out in some way during the all-day event.
Ironman began about 7 a.m. at Northshore Park Saturday morning with a 2.4-mile swim in Lake Woodlands, then athletes progressed onto a 112-mile bike course to the west side of the county, then ran 26.2 miles through The Woodlands and reached the finish line at Market Square late Saturday night.
Last year, Montgomery County Hospital District EMS helped more than 600 patients last year and made 50 transports to local hospitals, according to Randy Johnson, MCHD CEO.
Two cyclists received minor injuries Saturday when they were hit by an automobile at South Panther Creek and Woodlands Parkway, however no major incidents happened before dark, according to Jennifer Nichols-Contella, MCHD public information officer.
“Weather conditions are good, it’s very well-organized and no major issues have been reported,” Nichols-Contella said. “This is most likely due to the cooler temperatures.”
MCHD, an official sponsor of the Ironman, had 20 bike teams, eight ambulances and 10 ATVs available for medical emergencies Saturday.
Gentry’s whole family and some friends sat on a sidewalk behind The Woodlands Marriott Hotel all day and into the night, cheering and encouraging the competitors. Even a Conroe High student who Gentry mentors each week came out to support him.
“They’re exhausted, most are struggling,” said Gentry’s sister, Angela Matthew, about the participants. “It was real hot from noon to four, but right now, with the sun going down, there is a great breeze.”
Miller said that she loves competing in the Ironman Texas better than Lake Tahoe.
“It’s flat and hot,” she said. “Tahoe was cold and mountainous.” Miller said she would rather swim in Texas any day compared to the 29-degree water at Tahoe.
Tortorici was inspired to train for the race after a close friend was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma.
“The goal was to race with her,” Tortorici said. “ She survived, but she can’t compete in the race, the chemo treatment wears your body out.”
He also raised thousands of dollars for the Ironman Foundation, which goes directly to the community. This year, Ironman Foundation gave $50,000 to five different charities in Montgomery County, he said.
“It’s a brutal race. Between my heart condition, racing for (my friend’s) honor and raising the money, that is what inspired me,” Tortorici said.
At 10 p.m. Saturday, it was reported that there were 39 transports of participants to area hospitals for dehydration and heat exhaustion, and one severe head injury.
Shattered Lives 2014
Montgomery High School juniors and seniors got a sobering dose of reality today when they participated in the Shattered Lives program on their campus.
First responder agencies, along with school administrators, teachers, parents and students, collaborated to present a realistic scenario of what happens when teenagers make bad choices when behind the wheel of a vehicle.“We see tragedies like this far too often, and this is one way we can show students what can really happens when they, or their friends, choose to drink, text or take part in other distracting behaviors while driving,” said Montgomery County Hospital District FTO and Shattered Lives Coordinator Brenna Jaszkowiak. “It’s more than just a sad internet or newspaper story; lives are completely changed when we lose a teenager to such a preventable situation.”
Jaszkowiak noted that so far in Texas this year, 436 people have been killed in alcohol-related deaths. The Shattered Lives of Montgomery County began in 1999, and its focus was educating students, and their parents, about the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol. However, the program has evolved to encompass other behind-the-wheel dangers including texting and talking on cell phones.
In addition to MCHD, other responder agencies that participated in the event included: Montgomery Fire Department, Lake Conroe Fire Department, Montgomery Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Grimes County Sheriff’s Office, Conroe Regional Hospital, Texas Department of Public Safety, PHI Air Medical and Cashner Funeral Home.
Shattered Lives is a two-day program that begins with students being selected as “victims” who are pulled from their classrooms to participate in the scenario. Once the scene is set, complete with mangled vehicles in a life-like situation, all students are brought to the designated area to experience the event, starting from the 911 call and ending with their fellow classmates being transported to the hospital via ambulance or helicopter or sent to the local “morgue”. The students who “caused” the accident are booked into jail. Then every fifteen minutes throughout the day, certain students are taken from their classrooms and marked as “dead” to represent the statistic that once every 15 minutes someone is affected by an alcohol-related incident.
Parental involvement is key to the program, as they are brought to the scene where their child has been identified as a “victim” in the scenario. Students who have “died” in the event spend the night away from home and return to school the next day to participate in an assembly that wraps up the program. The assembly includes speakers, some of which are students and parents. Counselors are on hand throughout the process to help students with the emotions they encounter as they come to grips with the realities of unsafe driving behaviors.
Each Shattered Lives program costs between $10,000 and $20,000, and the schools involved take part in fundraisers to cover costs. All staff time is donated by local agencies, organizations and businesses. To learn more about supporting Shattered Lives or to make a donation, visit their website at www.shatteredlivesmc.com.