Simulation at RDU tests emergency communication
Posted May 31, 2013
Morrisville, N.C. — Federal, state and local agencies tested communication and readiness Friday in a disaster drill at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The responded to a simulation of an earthquake with mass casualties, dozens of injured and widespread damage.
Lt. Col. Mary Dango said communication between her National Guard unit and Wake County EMS was key.
"We can transport critically ill patients but without them to take them into getting individualized care, it would not be a success," Dango said.
Every three years, first responders are tested on how quickly they can relocate large numbers of injured and dead when an entire area is decimated by a natural disaster. The National Disaster Medical System requires that federal, state and local agencies work together to stabilize patients, decide where to send them for treatment and communicate that information to loved ones.
It is a challenge not unfamiliar to the Triangle first responders who evacuated people from the Garner Con Agra foods plant four years ago.
already experienced the challenges of patient accountability - after an explosion at the Con Agra food plant four years ago.
"Patients went to seven different health care facilities and so, absolutely, matching families, matching patients together is extremely important," said Barb Bisset, a nurse at Wake Med.
Jeff Hemmerstein, director of Wake EMS, said the drill helps his group identify how they can improve and save lives more quickly in the case of a real disaster.