Regional Full-Scale Mass Casualty Exercises
On May 8, 2014, the CHHS Exercise and Training team carried out simultaneous exercises in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties to test Maryland’s mass casualty response. The scenario, explosive detonations at large sports and recreation facilities in Maryland’s National Capital Region, allowed local fire, police, emergency medical services, emergency management, and coordinating agencies to test the state’s Emergency Response System when a high volume of injuries and casualties are involved.
CHHS began planning efforts with regional stakeholders a year prior to the full-scale exercises. More than 20 partners from local and state entities, as well as local hospitals, participated at Six Flags America in Prince George’s County and at the Discovery Sports Center in Montgomery County. The exercises specifically tested county Emergency Response System plans, tracking of patients transported to regional hospitals, coordination and delivery of requested resources needed at each scene, effectiveness of partnerships with private businesses in the area, and the overall command and control of the incident response.
In Montgomery County, decontamination procedures in response to the release of a hazardous material were also assessed. An active-shooter scenario was included at the Prince George’s County exercise. Volunteers acting as victims were moulaged to help on-scene medical responders gain experience in diagnosing and treating wounds. In addition to developing and facilitating the exercise scenario and injects, CHHS Exercise and Training staff evaluated response efforts to help participants identify areas where improvement was needed in the event of a real-world disaster.
This text taken from the CHHS Fall 2014 Newsletter