EXCLUSIVES
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Shooting isn't real, but drill is crucial

RALEIGH -- The reports coming out of Daniels Middle School on Thursday morning were grim: multiple casualties with a gunman at large on the Oberlin Road campus.

In the wake of this spring's Virginia Tech massacre, heavily armed Wake County emergency officials held a drill to practice responding to a similar mass shooting.

"Granted, it's not real life, but it's stressful," Joseph Zalkin, a Wake EMS assistant chief said as paramedics rushed up and down a hall carrying "victims" with injuries ranging from a twisted ankle to gunshot wounds.

Learning new ways

Officials at the scene, including Wake Sheriff Donnie Harrison and county Commissioner Paul Coble, said the training will help police and paramedics react to "active shooter" emergencies.

"Since Columbine, Sept. 11 and Virginia Tech, we all have had to learn new ways to deal with an active shooter," said Skip Kirkwood, chief of Wake County Emergency Medical Services.



Zalkin said reports from those and similar events showed a lack of common training between law enforcement and emergency medical personnel.

After the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, a statewide task force invited Wake EMS and other medical responders to train with law enforcement officers in the event of a similar incident in North Carolina.

Worst-case scenario

Wake EMS and law enforcement officers used two wings of the middle school Thursday to prepare for the "worst-case scenario" of a school shooting. Before entering the school, EMS officials, in anticipation of mass casualties, parked the new Wake EMS Truck 1 beside the building.

The truck is outfitted like a traditional ambulance but is capable of treating and transporting up to 10 critically injured victims at a time. Truck 1 is among the earliest responders in mass casualty situations.

"The goal is to not have the criticals sit for too long," Zalkin said.

County officials bought the truck and supplies last year for about $300,000 through a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said Jon Olson, an EMS division chief.

The truck was a prominent fixture during an emergency call Feb. 22 when a fire nearly destroyed Pine Knolls Townes, a townhouse complex off Capital Boulevard. Though there were no injuries, the truck provided relief for emergency workers.

Triage set up

EMS also set up a triage unit in the school cafeteria to treat the injured -- dummies were used -- before transporting them to nearby hospitals.

"All right, we got a major head injury," a paramedic said while she and another carried a victim into the cafeteria on a cot.

RELATED ARTICLES

Three Children Dead after Boat Capsizes in Utah Lake

Seven people tossed overboard when violent winds overturn boat in Bear Lake.

Minnesota Man Impaled on Fence

Section of fence had to be cut to transport patient to the hospital.

Suspected Food Poisoning Hits Over 50 People in Salt Lake City Shelter

Salt Lake County health department investigates illness at shelter providing meals.

Three Dead, Over a Dozen Injured in Pennsylvania Bus, Truck Crash

Trailer sheared in half after collision with bus.

Woman Loses Arm in Boston Harbor Accident

Patient’s arm was severed just below the shoulder.

Roller Coasters Crash at British Amusement Park

Four seriously injured when cars collide at one of Britain’s biggest amusement parks.

Features by Topic

Featured Careers

 

JEMS TV

FEATURED VIDEO TOPICS

Learn about new products and innovations featured at EMS Today 2015

 

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts