Mass casualty simulation prepares emergency responders - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Mass casualty simulation prepares emergency responders

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

A dramatic scene looked real in downtown Quincy Saturday, but it was all part of a simulated mass casualty exercise.

The Quincy Police and Fire Departments joined forces with the Adams and Marion County Ambulances, along with a full staff at Blessing Hospital to train for a disaster in Quincy.

Health officials said the best way for emergency responders to learn is through practice.

"We simulate situations to test our processes to see if they work and the best time to learn about what you are doing is through simulation exercise," Blessing Hospital President and CEO Maureen Kahn. 

Kahn said the reality is emergency responders don't get advanced notice before disaster hits.

"Unfortunately disasters aren't timed and planned and so this was a surprise to most of the staff at the hospital, so we can make sure that the systems that we've built work," said Kahn.

Th mock disaster was an explosion at the Adams County Court house. First responders had to rescue the 40 volunteer victims from the building, and transport them to Blessing.

Kahn said this kind of collaboration between several departments tests the strengths of communication.

"We get to see how are communication is with EMS and all the county leaders and how would we activate the staff that we need in a short period of time as well as get all of the supplies we need," said Kahn.

Kahn said the ultimate goal is to learn from any weaknesses in the simulation.

"What did they see, what did they learn and then we will revise our processes, we'll do more education and we'll see what did we learn to make this stronger."

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