Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
Bellevue Mayor: Medical Response was Amazing
By Justin Foss, Reporter
BELLEVUE - Dozens of first responders are getting credit for their work in the minutes after a tragic parade accident on the Fourth of July in Bellevue.
Marcia Ambrosy had the day off, that is, until a woman was thrown from a buggy just feet from where she was watching the parade.
"I'm a critical care nurse," said Ambrosy, 45, Bellevue. "I see the victim lying there and my immediate response was to go to that," said Ambrosy.
That victim was 60-year-old Janet Steines of Springbrook, Steines and her husband were driving a horse drawn buggy in the parade. Steines later died at the hospital and was the only death among the 24 victims.
Ambrosy was one of at least 60 first responders that happened to be in the crowd, "As I'm doing one thing, somebody else is doing another thing and as we're hollering for the ambulance and wondering why nobody is there, people were there though."
The chief of police, Lynn Schwager, said his officers arrived within minutes, and by that time, every single injured person already had a medical team helping them out.
"And they all just went into their professional mode and did what they had to do," said Bellevue Mayor Virgil Murray.
The first responders had a large area to cover. Schwager said the horses left carnage for nearly 1,600 feet before they were stopped.
Murray thinks of the 60 first responders, there were at least 4 doctors, several nurses and several paramedics. Some live in Bellevue, some were just visiting the parade. Murray said the town still doesn't know the identity of all the responders.
One of the first responders was a flight medic who works in Florida, but has a home in Bellevue. He called Murray.
"He said he has chiefs, and I don't know what they would be, but they called back and said we could learn from what Bellevue does," said Murray.
Ambrosy says what this community does, is care. And that's why it hurts even more that the woman she worked on, was the only person who died.
"For some of us it's going to be hard to find that silver lining, but the community is awesome," said Ambrosy.
The mayor says that medic told him that too, the response shows this community is good.
"He says the human touch outweighs anything else here in Bellevue. So, when somebody calls like that, and you're feeling down, which I do, it brings a little happiness to you," said Murray.
Police Chief Schwager said one person who deserved recognition after this emergency is the lone dispatcher working at the communications center in Maquoketa. Schwager said listening to the radio traffic after wards, he was impressed how well the dispatcher handled all the calls from witnesses and medical teams trying to respond.