GPS boosts emergency preparedness at Travelers

CROMWELL, Conn. (WTNH) – Emergency preparedness at the Travelers Championship is way beyond par for fans.

High tech is making a big impact on the course this year.

A GPS tracking system enables medical teams from St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center to reach a patient’s side in just minutes — while all eyes are on pro golfers like defending champ Ken Duke on the fairway.

The focus at the command center is the entire expansive course where emergencies happen.

Said EMS Manager John Quinlavin, “We see injuries, slips and falls, ball strikes, lacerations, cuts, heat exhaustion, diabetic emergencies, respiratory problems, whatever you would see in a small community which is what we see here.”

The GPS dispatching system, co-developed by Marcus Communications in Manchester, provides a more efficient response. That’s because every emergency medical mobile team — on bikes to golf carts — has a GPS radio.

Matt Fernandez monitors it closely.

“This system actually allows us to automatically update every 10 seconds,” Fernandez said. “It updates their location. So if I notice there’s an emergency on one side of the hole and I can’t have a team crossover in the middle of someone playing, I could actually look on here and say, OK, this team is closer and on the correct side of where the emergency is.”

A more visible high tech tool is the Segway with three wheels which Quinlavin allows to zip through.

“It allows me to maneuver much more easily and quickly than going through on a golf cart,” he said. “It’s certainly more high tech and state of the art than you’ll see on some of the other tournaments but St. Francis Care is really interested in providing the highest level of the state-of-the-art care.”

And at the three medical tents, fans like Pat Major are getting the care they need.

“I’m needing a band aid for a blister,” Major said. “I’m following John Daly and I figured I have 18 holes to go so I need that band aid to keep it good. This is it, we’ve been here before.”

There are 25 medical professionals at the Travelers. There is also an eight-bed treatment facility.

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