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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Minnesota Bridge Collapse: August 2007

Hospital Preparedness Program

Using the Minnesota System for Tracking Resources, Alerts, and Communication (MNTrac), Minnesota can rapidly send critical information to hospitals and first responders during a disaster. As part of the response to the bridge collapse, MNTrac alerts were sent via multiple methods, including text messages to cell phones, Blackberries and pagers. During the August 1, 2007 event, the initial alert read, “I-35W Bridge over river has collapsed, unknown patient count at this time, EMS command structure at scene, more to follow as information comes in.”

Twenty-one alert updates with additional information were sent over the next five hours. Using MNTrac gave Minnesota greater interoperable and redundant communication capabilities.

The Minnesota Department of Health Office of Emergency Preparedness has developed a web-based patient tracking application to lessen the difficulties surrounding the tracking of patients during a mass casualty incident. This new application is funded by the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) and has been incorporated into MNTrac as a resource and hospital bed tracking system.

  • This page last reviewed: November 20, 2013