Disaster Response Training

The Region 7 Mass Casualty Simulated Training was held on May 16th in Moses Lake at the Grant County International Airport. The entire airport was utilized and set up a full scale simulation. It was labeled “Foggy Backlash”. The scenario was that there had been a Washington State Basketball Tournament hosted in Moses Lake. In heavy fog, the team buses and private vehicles headed home. 911 dispatch started fielding calls of two team buses with a total of 98 passengers who were involved in accidents in which passengers sustained major wounds, broken bones and head trauma. In addition there were 6 car accidents with 18 people and two semi’s with 4 drivers.

In a situation like this area hospitals are unable to house and care for this many patients and must find alternative locations to provide care. This is what Region 7 is all about. Region 7 consists of a variety of facilities between Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Kittitas and Okanogan Counties who have partnered together to create a healthcare coalition. This coalition, if called upon in a real life mass casualty situation, can quickly pull together trailers which are preloaded with supplies and equipment and gather employees to set up a 125 bed Tier II Alternative Care Facility. Region 7 does a full scale simulated training once a year to fine tune their processes and make sure that if called up they can provide the best possible care to patients.

There are approximately 23 health care facilities within the 5 counties who are part of this coalition. Mid Valley Hospital is proud to be one of those facilities and we take this task seriously. Mid Valley Hospital brought 4 employees to participate in the training. Everyone is assigned a duty and plays the part for the entire day. Everything that takes place during training is to be taken as if it were a real life situation. A local college in Moses Lake sent 120 students who were given instructions on what their injuries were and how they were to play their role as a patient. These students all showed up and immediately submerged themselves as if they were real patients. One patient was pregnant and in labor, one patient brought a gun, we had a mother show up frantic and screaming looking for her child, one patient had a heart attack, another patient was blind and another who spoke only Russian. These are all real situations that could hinder patient care aside from the injuries that are present. The staff called in interpreters; we had EMT services there and the whole nine yards. Everyone did a wonderful job and I am fully confident that our county has the resources necessary to handle a situation like this. I have a whole new appreciation for Region 7 and all that Mid Valley Hospital does to do its part within this organization. Our community should be proud, feel safe and rest assured that Mid Valley Hospital is capable of handling a mass casualty.

Submitted by April Brady, Fiscal Dept.