Ambulances coming in from Bakersfield to evacuate hospital patients


Kern County Fire Chief, David Witt said there have been injuries as a result of Thursday's strong earthquake near Ridgecrest but they are mostly minor.
Witt, speaking at a press briefing at the Kern Emergency Operations Center in Bakersfield three hours after the quake hit said initially first responders had more incidents than they could handle but more and more equipment and personnel is responding to the city of 28,000 in northeastern Kern County.

"We don't know the exact number of injuries," Witt said.

There have been no reports of fatalities.

Witt said the injuries resulted from breaking glass and falling shelves when the 6.4 magnitude quake hit. 

One of the biggest problems is at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital where patients are being evacuated.

Two strike teams of ambulances were dispatched to Ridgecrest.

Hall Ambulance spokesman Mark Corum said the the Hall strike team consisted of five advanced life support ambulances, 2 basic life support ambulances, a disaster medical support unit, and paramedic field supervisor unit staffed by 6 paramedics, a registered nurse and 12 emergency medical technicians.
The Hall Ambulance strike team departed from Bakersfield at 1:45 p.m. and will assist with transporting the patients to regional medical facilities, Corum said. 

There was discussion of the use of helicopters to transport the most seriously ill patients from Ridgecrest to other facilities in Southern California.

Firefighters have responded to several structure fires and numerous other problems including downed power lines, broken gas line and ruptured water line through out the Indian Wells Valley.

Southern Edison said 6,120 customers were without power in Kern County with an additional 893 in San Bernadino County and 94 in Inyo County.

There are also "significant cracks" in roads in the Ridgecrest area, Witt said.

The United States Geological Survey said the earthquake was reported at 10:33 a.m. and was preceded by a magnitude 4.2 shock at 10:02.
By 1:15 p.m., 119 aftershocks with a magnitude of 2.5 or greater were recorded and there were nine aftershocks of 4.0 or stronger.