Nevada Crews Practice Triage in Mass Casualty Drill

Some early communication problems were quickly smoothed over


 
 

CONOR SHINE, Las Vegas Sun | | Wednesday, June 22, 2011


A semi-trailer truck, boat and several cars were smashed together in a Las Vegas parking lot Friday night, as area firefighters tended to volunteer "victims" in a mock accident.

The mass-casualty drill was designed to give firefighters hands-on experience evaluating and responding to a serious accident.

"When we practice these things ahead of time, it runs more smoothly when there is an accident because everyone knows how thing are supposed to operate," said Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman Tim Syzmanski.

The drill was hosted by the Las Vegas Fire Department, and included firefighters and paramedics from North Las Vegas and Clark County. Firefighters brought out tools including saws, winches, the Jaws of Life, even a helicopter to respond to a scene officials described as "coordinated chaos."

The drill was held in the parking lot of Ewing Brothers Towing, at Owens Avenue and D Street. The company lent the rescue teams a specialized truck known as a rotator that can lift vehicles weighing up to 60 tons off the ground. It was used to pull a semi off a car wedged beneath it.

The focus of the exercise was to practice triage of the victims, identifying the most critically injured for immediate care. Of the 28 volunteer victims, nine were critically injured.

"Whenever you have an accident, we want to get the patient into the trauma unit within the first hour, which they call the 'golden hour,'" Syzmanski said. "The clock starts ticking from the time the accident occurs...and if they're trapped under a vehicle or down in a ravine, that all works against us."

Mass casualty accidents don't happen often, but when they do "they don't happen under ideal conditions," Szmanski said. Friday's training was an intentionally difficult, worst-case scenario to challenge the rescue teams.

The drill went well, the participating firefighters said, and some early communication problems were quickly smoothed over.

"We had a little bit of a slip-up once we pulled victims out," said Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Capt. Eddie Vigil. "[We needed] to communicate a little bit better with triage on who was going to come and pick them up to take them to the treatment area. There was a little bit of chaos there...but it worked out OK."



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, triage, real-life training, mass casualty

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Four Killed in New Mexico Medical Plane Crash

Crash near fairgrounds claims patient and crew of three.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Involved in Crash

Odessa ambulance and car collide during response.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Las Vegas Fire, AMR Reach New Deal

Tentative agreement reached over ambulance calls.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Fire Damages Several Homes in California Earthquake

Four homes destroyed and others damaged after quake rattles Napa.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >