Our friends at Anime Weekend Atlanta made a small handful of UsagiMed video PSAs for use during the con last year. We want to take a moment to share them with you. Personally, this one makes me thirsty:
Our friends at Operation Hammond graciously presented the gift of a very cool Medtronic LifePak AED to Usagi Medical Group. James Fedora, founder of Operation Hammond, announced the gift of an AED to UsagiMed’s own Laura Block. All of us at Usagi Medical group are grateful, and it certainly means a great deal to us.
Prior to this generosity, AED rental was one of UsagiMed’s largest expenses. Having our own AED in our inventory means we can more easily serve smaller conventions across the southeast.
Usagimed’s Raymond Files said it perfectly: “For our first field deployment as Usagi Medical Group, I don’t think we could have had a better event.” MTAC 2018 was our first trip away from Anime Weekend Atlanta. Things went fantastically, and all of us at Usagi Medical Group (UMG) want to extend our appreciation to MTAC for the warm welcome and an overall excellent convention experience. We want to give a special shout out to Cassidy Runge, Spencer Rabon, and Corey Finney. They made the on-boarding process easy, and working with them and their staff was a seamless process.
UMG’s CEO John Plaxco says: “We really enjoyed working with them, and we’re especially pleased with the number of patients we were able to treat. Our goal is to help keep folks healthy and happy and AT the convention, and I think we definitely succeeded there. Multiple con-goers made use of our first-aid capabilities, and there was no need for anyone to go out by ambulance.”
Thank you, MTAC for an excellent event. We’re looking forward to working with you again in 2019!
Usagimed’s own Aaron Carolipio has produced an excellent little video on the importance of the 5-2-1 rule. It’s simple, easy, fun, and seductive.
We’re friends, right? Bear with me, here. I’m not going to tell you not to drink. If you’re 21 or over, partying sometimes means the consumption of deleterious substances. And that’s fine. Just one quick question: How do you set your limits?(more…)
There are plenty of ongoing, online conversations questioning whether or not you should attend a convention alone. Should You Go Alone? We say YES! Go and enjoy yourself. There is no denying there is safety in numbers, but there is nothing wrong with going to a convention alone. You should absolutely talk to strangers! Have fun! Make some new friends!(more…)
November 15, 1997 was when it all started.
An old friend had given Laura Block a free pass to attend the third year of Anime Weekend Atlanta. She recalls: “That Saturday night at the dance, a member of our merry band of misfits sprained his ankle pogo-dancing.” She wrapped and iced the ankle, and a department was born.
At first we seemed to be called, “Dr. Laura, HEEEEELP!” By 2002, we were busy enough that we could justify bringing in more medically-trained crew and housing them onsite, so we became “AWA Medical.” Our first members were all part of the GA-3 DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team), but when Hurricane Rita hit in 2005, the GA-3 DMAT team was almost deployed to Texas. Laura was *this close* to working AWA by herself. So we began to cast our net wider for volunteers. Today, we work with close to 40 certified and credentialed volunteers. (And we’re always welcoming of more potential Bunnies. Please contact us if you’re interested in working with us.)(more…)
“Dr. Laura” Block obtained her doctor of pharmacy degree before calendars were invented. She attended her first Anime Weekend Atlanta in 1997, where she accidentally created the medical department that evolved into Usagi Medical Group.
Dr. Laura completed her hospital pharmacy practice degree in Brooklyn, NY, and worked for 3 years as a medical writer in Manhattan, which is why she took the September 11 terrorist attack a little personally. She joined the CA-4 DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team) in November of 2001, where she began her disaster training, and soon transferred to the GA-3 DMAT where training continued.
Dr. Laura became a lecturer on hospital all-hazards preparedness and internal radiation decontamination, and ruined everyone’s lunch by participating in a panel discussion about the risks associated with pandemic flu. She developed a passion for public health, where she began trying to save everyone from everything, using only condoms, hand sanitizer, and nicotine patches.
Dr. Laura continues her disaster education and experience as a district coordinator for Team Rubicon, and serves as Usagi Medical Group’s “Master of Disaster.”
I’m very happy to tell you that Usagi Medical Group is going to Nashville, Tennessee for the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention (MTAC)!
This will be UsagiMed’s first, official, non-AWA event. All of us are looking forward to working with MTAC’s excellent staff. Please do come by and say HI. We’ll you there!
Fire alarms go off. Evacuations happen. How do you prevent your disaster from turning into another disaster? If you run a convention, you’ve got to have a disaster plan. As a convention organizer, the responsibility lies with you to always be a step or two ahead, to build and regularly exercise a plan in conjunction with your venue and local law enforcement. Disaster planning: it’s the right thing to do.
Assessment and Planning
We at Usagi Medical Group have been there and done that. From vulnerability assessment and plan writing, to training, implementation, and revision. We’ve been studying mass gatherings and disasters for decades. We are familiar with common pinch points, pitfalls, and cautionary tales. We’ve constructed plans that have been used with great success. And even when things go really well, we assess afterwards and make improvements and adjustments.
Drill and Train
You can write the greatest plan in the world, but if you don’t continually train and drill your plan, no one will know what to do in an emergency. Training doesn’t have to be a big deal or a downer, it can be short, fun reminders of what to do when you-know-what hits the oscillating unit. You’ll notice that we don’t get into specifics here, because your needs are going to differ based on your event, and are influenced by your specific convention culture, your venue, and current events, and may require change from year to year.
We can help you get started on a plan that will be uniquely tailored to your event and your needs. Call on us to help you get ready and avoid catastrophe.