Drill of the Week: Multiple-Casualty Incidents

This week's drill includes several scenarios: a school bus accident, a bleacher collapse at a little league softball field, and a collapse of merchandise racks at a local store (supermarket, furniture, warehouse-type, etc.). The objectives of the drill are:

  • To practice multiple-casualty rescue operations;
  • To develop SOPs for multiple-casualty operations;
  • To practice triage operations; and
  • To practice using the ICS.

You'll need access to a site to conduct the drill, volunteer victims, triage tags and protocols, injury makeup and labels or a moulage kit, press releases, and release forms for all the victims. Work with a local service group, such as the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts. Meet with the group you choose and request 12-15 volunteer victims. Explain that rescuers will do a full body search but will not remove any clothing. If possible, volunteers should wear clothes that can be cut. Parents should be available to participate as victims and to monitor the drill activity. Advise victims with simulated broken bones to scream appropriately if those body parts are moved. At least one victim should have a simulated pale face and should be placed sitting a short distance from the major group of victims. This victim should act in a disoriented manner if located and identified as a victim. Also, try to coordinate the drill with a local medical facility so its personnel can drill their disaster plan along with the simulated incident.

Running the Drill
Victims should report 90 minutes before the scheduled start for instructions and makeup. Ensure everyone signs a release form. If you have child victims, make sure their parents sign the release form. Responding apparatus should be staged at a nearby location and dispatched by a training officer. Resources should be staged to provide an appropriate number of personnel and supplies to manage the incident.

Observe the operation of the command post and keep a timed record noting different aspects of the operation such as the steps taken to ensure the stability of the collapse site, proper triage procedures, proper assignment of treatment priorities, and the assignment of sector officers and a safety officer. Howard A. Chatterton includes a complete list of items to evaluate in his Volunteer Training Drills - A Year of Weekly Drills..

The debriefing should cover the list of evaluations. Give the victims and their parents the opportunity to tell you their observations. It is important to know how they perceive your actions. If their perceptions are incorrect, you'll have an opportunity to explain your actions, which helps build good public relations.

At the drill's conclusion, discuss what went right, what went wrong, and what should be done differently next time.

If you have a similar drill idea and wish to share it, please e-mail: chrism@pennwell.com.

To review training officer and safety officer considerations, visit http://fe.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles&SubSection=HOME&PUBLICATION_ID=25&ARTICLE_ID=202453 to review training officer and safety officer considerations.

For more information on this drill, including a list of references and evaluation list, visit http://store.yahoo.com/pennwell/voltraindril.html to purchase Volunteer Training Drills--A Year of Weekly Drills.

Next week's drill: Cold Weather Emergencies

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