City finishes report on Super Bowl emergency calls
M.C. Moewe
Staff Writer
DOWNTOWN -- The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department has completed what could be the first comprehensive report of Super Bowl emergency responses.

Super Bowl attendees suffered mostly minor injuries and illnesses with specially designated emergency crews treating 408 people, resulting in 75 being transported to a hospital, said Charles Moreland, division chief of rescue with the department.

"Most common were people who tripped or bumped into something causing an injury," Moreland said.

From Jan. 20 to Feb. 7 the city dedicated up to 10 ambulances to service people attending the Super Bowl and the related festivities, Moreland said. Twelve ambulances also were made available especially for the event by two private companies.

"Some days we had more and some days less depending on the crowds," Moreland said of the ambulances in service on any given day during the 19 days the designated emergency crews were operating.

The majority of emergency medical patients, 315, were seen the weekend of Super Bowl while game day resulted in 134 people treated with 81 of those at Alltel Stadium, Moreland said. Twenty-five of the 134 patients treated on game day had serious enough injury to warrant transport to a hospital.

Trauma injuries accounted for 207 of the total calls, 92 were sickness related with the remaining patients complaining of various illnesses including chest pains, breathing problems and seizures, Moreland said.

The most serious Super Bowl-related injury was on Feb. 3 when a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office boat hit a piling at the old Fuller Warren Bridge before a fireworks show, injuring two officers, Moreland said.

Jacksonville police Officer James Brunet remains on leave with injuries related to that accident, said Jacksonville Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Restivo. Brunet suffered facial injuries. Officer Keith Nazworth has returned to duty.

"It's ironic that Officer Brunet was out there to help people and ended up being the worst casualty of the event," Restivo said.

Nazworth was found at fault in the crash by the department's Safety Review Board in mid-March, Restivo said. Because the accident was his first since starting with the Sheriff's Office in 1991, the board directed Nazworth to receive formal counseling, which was done on March 21.

Though thousands of visitors were housed at the temporary Talleyrand cruise terminal during Super Bowl, emergency crews treated six patients in that area, Moreland said. During the 19 days the crews were operating in the festivities area, four patients were seen in relation to motor vehicle crashes.

Moreland said his emergency crews had to be prepared for anything and he wrote a 220-page report that mapped out responses to various scenarios during the Super Bowl such as a weapons of mass destruction attack. But he was dismayed at the lack of medical data available about past Super Bowls, so he devised a plan to track the information in Jacksonville. "I broke my EMS out up front instead of going back and trying to sort it out," Moreland said.

Detroit's Super Bowl host committee has contacted Moreland about helping that city prepare for next year's game and officials in Glendale, Ariz., which was awarded the 2008 game, also have asked for Moreland's help.

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