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County Emergency Responders Participate In Mock Disaster Drill

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Emergency responders worked together Friday morning to practice, assess and hone their emergency skills in the field during drill simulating a mock disaster.

Hosted in the Gerald Prim/Hopkins County Civic Center Pavilion parking lot and within Sulphur Springs ISD Athletic Complex, officials reacted as if dispatched to areas in which a tornado had occurred. Multiple people sustained varied levels of injuries, from the walking wounded with minor injuries to critical and even deceased victims of the mock tornado.

Emergency response personnel, assessed patient conditions, “tagged” them for triage treatment based on injury level. City and County law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel responded. Local justices of the peace, at least one game warden, school police also participated in the response. Civic Center staff, Civil Air Patrol and hospital representatives also were cited in a public announcement to be involved in the exercise.

One scenario, in the Prim/Civic Center parking lot, involved multiple patients, including at least one casualty. At least one patient was determined to be deceased upon officials’ arrival. At least one woman was reported to have sustained only minor injuries, and a pregnant woman was reported to be hemorrhaging. Firefighters, law enforcement and EMS personnel worked together to assess, treat and assist the identified victims, located within an area of debris, which included many treat limbs. Some were under the debris.

The hospital’s am-bus was utilized to house and move multiple patients from the scene at the same time.

Before the units could clear that location, they were told approximately 1 dozen other victims were identified at another location. Units moved to the SSISD Athletic Complex, where they found a similar situation.

At each site at least one state and or regional official timed and evaluated the officials response and will make recommendations for any areas of improvement they were able to identify.

The officials participated until noon, and will receive the recommendations as well as any other areas they identify in which adjustments can be made to more efficiently improve patient care and services in emergency situations.

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Author: Faith Huffman

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