Mass Casualty Incidents, News

D.C. Terror Drill Tests New Patient Tracking System

WASHINGTON (WUSA) A large-scale disaster drill in the Washington region put the medical system in four Maryland counties and the District of Columbia to the test Wednesday.

The drill, dubbed Capital Shield 2012 simulated a terror attack by flooding 13 of the areas hospitals with at least 100 mock patients.

First responders used a new tracking system similar to what delivery drivers use to keep tabs on packages.   But during the drill, they tracked victims instead.

The system, which included hand-held devices, bar coded patient tags, as well as laptop terminals in hospitals and command posts is designed to get disaster victims medical help as quickly as possible while keeping them from being mis-routed, lost or even forgotten during the chaos of a mass casualty event.

The Real Time Locating System will be deployed to first responders throughout the National Capital Region within the next 12 months, according to John Donohue of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems.

A $5 million federal grant is paying for the new system.