Mass casualty drill to be conducted Saturday.

September 6, 2019

Mass casualty drill to be conducted Saturday.

AMBER TOWNSHIP — On Saturday, September 7, 2019, Mason County will be conducting a mass casualty exercise in cooperation with Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. The exercise will test portions of medical response plans for a mass casualty incident, such as an active shooter at a school. 

The purpose of the exercise is to test local emergency response capabilities to communicate, coordinate, and exchange information during a catastrophic disaster, according to Liz Reimink, Mason County emergency management coordinator. “Many of the skill-sets being evaluated during this exercise are the fundamental skills emergency responders use on a myriad of major incidents, not just an active shooter scenario. This exercise focuses on combining key components of past exercises into a large drill, but also builds a foundation for future exercises. The incorporation of Mason County schools continues the refinement of reunification plans the Mason County School Safety Team have been developing since 2017. The information learned from the exercise will be used in future exercises to train more personnel.”

Approximately 100 individuals will be participating in the exercise. Several school bus drivers and community members have volunteered to act as the victims in this drill. Additionally, volunteers with the Benzie County C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) will be assisting in doing the moulage (simulated medical injuries) for all of the role players to provide a realistic training environment for emergency responders. 

The first phase of the exercise will be taking place at the West Shore Educational Services District service center, 2130 E. US 10/31. Emergency responders will only be simulated the coordination of rescue task force teams making entry. After the initial triage of the “victims”, everyone will be transported to the hospital to continue the drill through the hospital’s mass casualty plans. There will not be any patient care simulated at the hospital for the exercise, and normal operations should not be impacted. The hospital will only be working through the receiving and sorting of patients.

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Betten Baker Ford

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