Regional Hospitals Test Mass Casualty Response Plans
Incorporating hospitals from five counties across the southern and D.C. metro portions of Maryland, the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) facilitated a full-scale exercise today that prepared the region for the possibility of a mass casualty incident. The scenario, a bus crash involving a large number of injuries coupled with an infectious disease component, gave participants the opportunity to practice real-world response capabilities in the event of any number of similar incidents.
The regional effort tested medical surge plans during a mass casualty incident, including communications, situational awareness, resource and personnel management, and continuity of operations. The Region V Emergency Preparedness Coalition, which includes representatives from Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s Counties, participated in the exercise. Each of the nearly 20 participating facilities assessed their internal response mechanisms to deal with an influx of patients while also working within the jurisdictional response framework to coordinate across the region.
In addition to developing the exercise, CHHS Exercise and Training staff evaluated activities at each location to include in an after action report. Hospitals experienced customized injects to test skills that management identified as areas for improvement, which once addressed can be used to help the region better prepare for a real-world incident.
Today’s exercise was one of the Center’s largest to date. Past clients have included local governments across Maryland and the State’s Emergency Management Agency, as well as colleges, hospitals, and the D.C Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. CHHS also offers planning services in continuity of operations, critical infrastructure protection, interoperability, mass evacuation and sheltering, and resource management. Numerous public health organizations have also sought out CHHS expertise on issues such as medical surge planning, legal issues surrounding public health emergencies, and hospital preparedness and response.
Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems
University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security
Calvert Memorial Hospital
University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center
Adventist Behavioral Health
Holy Cross Hospital – Silver Spring
Holy Cross Hospital – Germantown
MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
Montgomery County Public Health
Shady Grove Central Campus
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Prince George’s County
Dimensions Healthcare System – Laurel Regional Medical Center
Dimensions Healthcare System – Prince George’s Hospital Center
Doctors Community Hospital
Fort Washington Medical Center
Greater Baden Medical Services
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital
St. Mary’s County
MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital