Mass Casualty Exercise At Renown Medical Center

RENO, NV - In the drill a woman, the driver of the mini van collides with a truck carrying radioactive waste.

There were other people in the car with her, dazed and confused, some have obvious injuries, others do not.

This is all play acting--it is never the less convincing to the onlooker.

But the drill is all for the benefit of those training to respond to a mass casualty incident.

“Practicing, they say really helps them out. I was the most severely wounded and I died when we got out there,” says Norah Sliger, a fake patient who wore fake blood and collapsed in the parking lot.

Other fake patients were more fortunate.

They were subjected to decontamination--scrubbed down, and sent to a special tent.

While in the Emergency Mobile Medical Facility, the fake victims can continue to be re-evaluated without being a hazard to other patients in the hospital.

“They are assessed, they are treated. We have a full clinical staff. Through the Washoe County Health District this tent is capable of serving 16 patients,” says Michael Munda, Renown’s Emergency Management Planner.

“We have a fully functional heat and air so it can be used in the summer or winter. I think we will find out how sturdy it is today, said Jeff Whiteside the county’s public health preparedness coordinator, as a gust of wind lifts the tent slightly.

Language barriers, emotions, and delivering medical care in haz mat suits all prove challenging for the staff.

After the decontamination suits are stripped off, and the fake blood is wiped off, the crews will meet in a matter of hours to talk about what went on Thursday.

They’ll talk about what they liked, and what they need to improve on.

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