“Mass Casualty” Drill Strengthens Firefighters Response”
From NLFR Captain Jim Kusz
Monday night North Lincoln Fire & Rescue engines and crews were dispatched to a call; “school bus into a building…” When they arrived on scene they had to “size-up” what they saw and begin the work of aiding the wounded and addressing the multiple hazards present.
The scenario involved multiple agencies as would a real “mass causality event”. It all started Monday night, June 24th, 6:30PM at the Taft Station Training Facility in cooperation with Columbia School Bus, Teen CERT, REACH helicopter (weather permitting), Lincoln City Police and Pacific West Ambulance.
This scenario training event was kept secret from our volunteer firefighters to see how they would respond and handle a large scale event – and to challenged the quality of their decisions. “Actor/victims” from Teen CERT and the community were in makeup (moulage) exposing the firefighters to realistic looking wounds. The event “scenario” was of a school bus that crashed into Jake’s Auto Parts with downed power lines, a gas leak, fire, etc. It was hectic!
The evaluators were looking to see how IC (Incident Command) prioritizes, how triage was implemented, and to ensure that the scene was secure and safe, and that the use of resources and communications were clearly understood.
Following the drill, crews were debriefed to see how the event helped to enhance and improve the skills of the district’s volunteer firefighters.
Any drill is useful. We critique what we can do better every time we go on a call or drill, to see how best to use not only our tools, fire apparatus and water supply, but also how we deploy our personnel in a drill of this magnitude.
A mass causality event is a “low frequency, high risk event” that challenges firefighters. When we can train successfully with a large event, the day to day calls (over 2000 last year) are much easier to handle. And of course when we have a larger event it will be something we all trained on and will be familiar with! The only way to improve is to train under realistic conditions.
For further information contact:
Jim Kusz / Captain
Public Information, Education & Safety Office
North Lincoln Fire & Rescue District #1
503-407-0801 24 hr emergency number