All divisions of Southwestern Community College’s Health Sciences participated in a disaster drill involving a shooter on campus scenario, which involved the rescue of wounded students and apprehending the shooter on the Jackson Campus, Friday, Oct. 5.
The Disaster Drill is an annual event organized to give Health Sciences students first-hand experience in a mass casualty incident. Health Sciences students work alongside their peers, instructors and local medical professionals to operate a simulated hospital, Balsam Regional Hospital, as efficiently as possible while replicating emergency situations. The simulated hospital includes an emergency room (ER), Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Medical Laboratory, Emergency Medical Services unit; and Human Services counseling, Physical Therapy, Radiography, and Ultrasound departments.
Drills began in 2007 and have featured a variety of natural disasters and other emergencies. Due to the nature of the events, the drills have involved numerous other local organizations, including staff from the National Guard Military Police, WCU EMS, Sylva Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and faculty from the Public Safety Training Center (PSTC) in Macon County.
Over 40 patient scenarios were involved, ranging from patients who were already in the ER at the time of the event, to serious trauma related to the shooting and later from a simulated ambulance crash.
Students are supervised by their instructors and professional practitioners and are expected to perform as they would in a real hospital during a real emergency.
Including patients, instructors, staff, law enforcement and student clinicians, over 230 people were involved in this year's event.
A committee of Health Sciences and PTSC faculty and staff assisted event organizer, Eric Hester, program coordinator of EMS, in the development of the drill.
For more information about Southwestern Community College, visit www.southwesterncc.edu.