The new Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center conducted a mass casualty disaster influx drill, using a school bus accident scenario with with another vehicle involving 10 students and a pregnant adult in the incident. No student or patient who participated in the drill exercise received actual medical care. This was a training exercise to prepare for a real incident of this kind in the future.
The medical center activated their Hospital Incident Command Center and employed their Emergency Management Committee for the operations of this drill surge event. They invited Community Partners from local first responders in the area which included, Mint Hill Fire and Rescue, Mint Hill Police Department, Robinson Fire Department, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte Fire Department Station 40, Charlotte Fire Emergency Management, Metrolina Healthcare and Preparedness Coalition as well as Student Government from Rocky River High School.
The key objectives, highlights and takeaways were the following:
- This event was a functional exercise practiced by the Emergency Management team that is a Joint Commission requirement.
- The professionals involved tested communications and coordination with the community local response partners from the surrounding area.
- The test covered communications within the hospital system involving all the various departments being affected.
- The drill evaluated team members working knowledge and operational response and overall management of a possible mass casualty event. It also included subsequent family unification and response to their concerns for the victims.
- Reviewed and evaluated any opportunities for improvement to better prepare and execute more efficiently for any potential disaster situation to best serve the surrounding communities.
- The team of partners were able to find areas for improvement to enhance their response time, patient care and to provide the best possible medical care to handle a very challenging trauma situational environment.
The Drill Directors were Kendolyn Wright and Kara Horn, Incident Command, Carol Walker, RN, Scribe, Lisa Johnson, Moulage, Pattie Freeman, Food, Mint Hill Cafe. The team of first reponders were mentioned previously, and the students from Rocky River High School played an important role as patients.
The occurrence of this kind of drill is very important for the community. It concerns all citizens because a major casualty incident can happen at any time unexpectedly, and to know our local medical professionals and first responders are preparing for such an event, should be very reassuring to the residents living in the surrounding area.
No one wants to think about such an event happening in their own communities. However, unfortunately, we have all witnessed these kind of incidents on the news, they seem to occur more often than we would like. The response and preparation for these real world scenarios is vital, being prepared can save precious lives.