Dr. Jeff Lubin isn't used to fighting through five layers of wool clothing to treat his patients.
The vice chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center was part of a team that staffed the LionReach mobile training and evaluation center for the 155th anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg July 5 to 8.
“It was stifling hot, and there are all these re-enactors walking around in direct sunlight in wool clothing,” Lubin said. “There was a woman who came in with a cut on her finger in this big, billowy dress, and we had to figure out how to make it work with the cot just so she could sit down.”
Hershey Medical Center doctors, nurses and advanced practice clinicians spent four, 12-hour days in the 1,000-square foot, 13-bed truck in Gettysburg to support local emergency medical services personnel. They handled mostly cases of heat illness among crowds that were expected to peak near 12,000.
“We were able to provide a higher level of expertise,” Lubin said.
The air-conditioned LionReach center provided a cool place for re-enactors and visitors who were experiencing cramps, nausea, confusion and other heat-related symptoms a place to rehydrate and lie down with cool cloths and fans.
The 18-wheel multiuse vehicle is most often used for simulations and trainings but occasionally travels to partner hospitals and events such as the re-enactment. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency lists LionReach as a disaster resource.
Lubin said organizers of the Gettysburg event also reached out to the medical center to provide care during the 150th anniversary re-enactment in 2013.
“We really like to support these big events,” he said. “It's part of being a good member of the community.”
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