Members of the South Central Kansas Healthcare Coalition recently had the opportunity to test their mettle and learn how to adapt to a mass-casualty event at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama.
The four-day training exercise brought together more than 50 representatives of health systems from nine counties in Kansas. During the training, participants received information on how to react to an emergency with simulation to bolster their experience.
“It is OK to read about [response], but in order to really be ready you have to put [response] into practice,” Adrienne Byrne-Lutz, interim director of Sedgwick County Public Health, said. “We learn from mistakes and this training makes us more ready to respond.”
The first two days of training consisted of lectures and discussions on response to a mass-casualty event. The latter two days consisted of life-like simulations of such events with expected obstacles including power failures, and dealing with members of the press and injured people.
"Because hospitals are 24/7 operations, it is impossible to re-create this type of exercise within a working hospital," Charlie Keeton, South Central Kansas Hospital preparedness coordinator, said. "Coming to Anniston gives us the opportunity to apply what we learned in a realistic setting.”