The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 23, 2014

Calhoun to conduct mass casualty training drill this week

Only a test

By Lora Scripps
lora@athensnews-courier.com

— A mock disaster is on tap for Thursday at Calhoun Community College.

The event is meant to simulate a scenario involving a threat to either people or property at the school.

Students from the emergency medical services and nursing programs at Calhoun will conduct the mock mass casualty training drill at 10 a.m. in the area of the Aerospace Training Center and Health Sciences Center at the Limestone County campus.

“This exercise will provide a unique, real-world learning experience for our students as they gain useful training with area rescue professionals,” said Bret McGill, Calhoun’s dean for health sciences. “In light of the increasing number of acts of violence occurring on school campuses, we felt that this drill is very timely for our students as they prepare for their healthcare careers and also serves as a good learning experience for all of our students, faculty and staff.”

The specific circumstances of the mock disaster will not be announced in order to preserve the “realness” of the event, according to Calhoun drill coordinators.

Past mock drill scenarios have included a bus crash, bomb threat, and an active shooter incident.

So that students, staff and visitors to the campus will not confuse the drill with a real situation, notices will go out across the college and signs indicating a training drill is currently underway will be posted in the area of the activity, according to coordinators. 

Calhoun nursing students will receive “patients” from the EMS students for treatment at the college’s “hospital,” located in the Health Sciences Center.

In addition to Calhoun EMS and nursing faculty, Calhoun Police and security personnel and area fire, EMS agencies, police departments and air medical flight services from MedFlight will participate.

According to drill coordinators, approximately 15 simulated casualties would be part of the exercise. The patients would be portrayed by Calhoun allied health students, who would have a full range of mock injuries.