On July 9th, 2014, a team of IAU faculty, students and staff participated in a full scale simulation of a plane crash, designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the local emergency response services. This annual training exercise, since its inception in 2004, brings emergency personnel from multiple disciplines together to respond to simulated disaster scenarios.
Police and firefighters were among those first on scene to begin putting out the fire and controlling the scene. The healthcare teams then arrived to survey the damage. Students from IAU worked alongside the healthcare team from St Jude Hospital to triage and ‘stabilize’ patients on scene while prioritizing transport to the hospital. Pre-existing plans were set into motion and individuals from all disciplines were assigned different roles. The plan was to operate within a hierarchy designed to minimize chaos and establish channels for communication, using the Incident Command System.
A special thanks needs to go to the doctors and nurses on scene for giving us an introduction to trauma and disaster triage management. It was a great experience to work as a team in such an acute, fast paced setting. After the mock disaster, the healthcare team stayed behind with the students from IAU for a discussion and debriefing of the event. A huge thank-you to all the students from the local high schools who posed as victims of the crash, some starting their day extremely early to get into character with make-up and costume! It was a day to remember and a great opportunity to practice teamwork, communication and emergency care with a multidisciplinary approach.