TAMC tests emergency procedures during MASCAL

| June 12, 2015 | 0 Comments
A Federal Fire Department firefighter tends to simulated hurricane injuries during TAMC’s mass casualty exercise. First responders had to secure the scene for safety before triaging and transporting patients.

A Federal Fire Department firefighter tends to simulated hurricane injuries during TAMC’s mass casualty exercise. First responders had to secure the scene for safety before triaging and transporting patients.

Story and photos by Air Force Staff Sgt. Chris Hubenthal
Defense Media Activity-Hawaii News Bureau

HONOLULU — Units across Oahu practiced emergency operations procedures during a mass casualty and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive exercise as part of a statewide initiative, June 3.

The exercise provided Tripler Army Medical Center personnel an opportunity to test their emergency operations plan and practice for potential real-world events.

TAMC practices emergency procedures during mass casualty exercise

“The emergency operations plan, which is our system we have in place, is something we don’t use every day,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Thompson, director of nursing, TAMC Emergency Department. “So, what this does is it refreshes our entire team on what the expectation is, where the equipment is and how patients are handled. It keeps us in the mindset of how to care for severely traumatized patients, which we don’t usually receive on a regular basis.”

Soldiers trained alongside members of the Federal Fire Department-Hawaii at Fort Shafter during a hurricane scenario where they responded to the site of a simulated collapsed building with 40 to 70 casualties trapped under the debris.

A firefighter and DOD civilians participate in an exercise at Fort Shafter. Soldiers from TAMC, Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter trained alongside local agencies to practice emergency procedures and fulfill a requirement to earn accreditation from the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

A firefighter and DOD civilians participate in an exercise at Fort Shafter. Soldiers from TAMC, Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter trained alongside local agencies to practice emergency procedures and fulfill a requirement to earn accreditation from the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

“We want to make sure that they make the scene as safe as possible and that they move in a fast manner,” said Sgt. Jamael Turner, TAMC practical nursing specialist and exercise evaluator. “They need to get there in a timely fashion, triage correctly and get the right patients to the right area, so they can get the proper care that they need.”

Once first responders were able to make the scene safe and triage casualties, certain patients were then transported to receive further evaluation and medical aid.

“They triage on the spot and then they either provide care on scene or transport them to Tripler,” Turner said.

The exercise provided a platform for Soldiers to prepare to respond to real-world events, but was also a requirement for TAMC.

Spc. Prakhyat Koirala (above, right), patient administration specialist, records patient demographics of a simulated casualty during the MASCAL, June 3, at TAMC.

Spc. Prakhyat Koirala (above, right), patient administration specialist, records patient demographics of a simulated casualty during the MASCAL, June 3, at TAMC.

“We’re doing this in a very serious fashion because we’re not only exercising the general MASCAL system, but we’re demonstrating to the Joint Commission that we are practicing and maintaining our emergency operations plan,” Thompson said. “That is a requirement for accreditation of our facility.”

The event also provided an opportunity for TAMC Soldiers and personnel to work alongside civilian responders.

“The reality of it is that we’re a team,” Thompson said. “Even though we work for different agencies, that doesn’t mean that patients’ care doesn’t need to be contiguous. The care they provide and the assessments they make directly influence how we move forward when moving a patient into our system.

U.S. Army soldiers, Tripler Army Medical Center, evaluate a simulated patient during a mass casualty exercise June 3, 2015, at TAMC, Hawaii. U.S. Army Pacific soldiers from Tripler Army Medical Center, Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter trained alongside local agencies, such as the Federal Fire Department Hawaii, to practice emergency procedures and fulfill a requirement to earn accreditation from the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

Soldiers  evaluate a simulated patient during a mass casualty exercise, June 3, at TAMC, The Soldiers at TAMC, Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter trained alongside local agencies, such as the Federal Fire Department Hawaii, to practice emergency procedures and fulfill a requirement to earn accreditation from the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

“The ability to communicate is huge in ensuring that we move the patient from where they are to where we’re trying to get them, which is stabilized and either admitted or discharged to the operating room,” he added.

TAMC conducts two mass casualty response training events annually and also during the Rim of the Pacific, the world’s largest international maritime exercise.

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Category: Defense Media Activity, Exercises, News, Training

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