Agencies gain experience with mass casualty incident training – Morning Journal
Last month, Fisher-Titus and Janotta & Herner teamed up to host an emergency training exercise at Huron County Fairgrounds.
Many local emergency agencies participated in the July 12-13 drill, including North Central EMS, Norwalk, Milan Township, Bellevue and Berlin Heights fire departments, as well as MetroHealth and Metro Life Flight.
Fisher-Titus holds several exercises each year to prepare for different types of emergencies.
In addition to being helpful in preparing for actual crises, two drills per year are required by the healthcare facility accreditation program, according to a press release from Fisher-Titus.
“Drills are crucial for all of our staff, but especially for our first responders,” said Ashley Ballah, director of North Central EMS. “They help us maintain our technical and critical thinking skills so that we are always ready if we have to respond to a real large-scale emergency.”
For the July exercise, North Central EMS, which is owned by Fisher-Titus, approached Janotta & Herner about partnering to create a larger-scale, high-casualty emergency exercise.
“I had spoken to Ashley who explained these mass casualty incident drills that North Central EMS and Fisher-Titus participate in,” said Tyler Wasserman, director of business development for Janotta & Herner. “We jumped at the chance to partner with them. This is a great opportunity for us as a company to increase our security.
Janotta & Herner were tasked with creating a realistic scenario and building an emergency scene for the event, according to the release.
“Partnering with Janotta & Herner allows us to provide our first responders and emergency service personnel with a more realistic experience,” Ballah said. “Because of the region we serve, it is possible to think that any incident with mass casualties or traumatic injury that they respond to could be construction related.
“Having Janotta & Herner as partners in this exercise helped us create a real-life scenario and therefore made the exercise more educational and beneficial for all of our participants.”
The scenario was that Janotta & Herner crews were working on a trench when a tractor-trailer driver suffered a heart attack, crashing into the job site, sending steel beams sliding off the truck.
The volunteers acted as patients, simulating injuries for emergency personnel to triage and treat.
These “patients” were even transported to the Fisher-Titus emergency department, giving the staff valuable experience in the reception and treatment of patients with traumatic injuries.
“It has been great working to put this together; it was very educational for us,” Wasserman said. “We have a very rigorous and thorough safety program at Janotta & Herner, but I don’t know if you can really plan something like that.
“Our nature as humans is to help, but through this process we have come to understand that we, even if you want to help each other, you might be doing more harm than good when it comes to injuries. Staging this has allowed us to better plan something like this and we look forward to taking this information and adapting it to our safety program.
“The exercise was a huge success for everyone involved,” Ballah said. “We are grateful to Janotta & Herner for taking on this task. Everyone worked very well together and we all gained invaluable knowledge and experience.