TAMC flexes muscle for MASCAL scenarios in All-Hazards exercise

| June 16, 2017 | 0 Comments
A mock patient is triaged by the Tripler Army medical CenterÕs Disaster Response Team after being injured in a building collapse at Fort Shafter June 8.   Tripler treated more than 50 patients during this scenario as part of the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii's annual Mass Casualty (MASCAL) exercise. (Photo by William Sallette, Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs)

A mock patient is triaged by the Tripler Army medical CenterÕs Disaster Response Team after being injured in a building collapse at Fort Shafter June 8. Tripler treated more than 50 patients during this scenario as part of the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii’s annual Mass Casualty (MASCAL) exercise. (Photo by William Sallette, Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs)

Story and photos by
William Sallette
Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs

HONOLULU — Tripler Army Medical Center participated in U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s annual Mass Casualty exercise, June 8, in order to test its emergency operations plans and procedures.

The MASCAL scenario involved a Category 3 hurricane striking Oahu and doing considerable damage to both military and civilian buildings, as well as infrastructure.

A mock patient begins to receive basic treatment in the Tripler Army Medical Center's Emergency Room parking lot due to a lack of space during a Mass Casualty (MASCAL) scenario June 8.  Tripler treated more than 50 patients during this exercise as part of the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii's annual MASCAL exercise. (Photo by William Sallette, Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs)

A mock patient begins to receive basic treatment in the Tripler Army Medical Center’s Emergency Room parking lot due to a lack of space during a Mass Casualty (MASCAL) scenario June 8. Tripler treated more than 50 patients during this exercise as part of the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii’s annual MASCAL exercise. (Photo by William Sallette, Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs)

“This is a scenario that is very possible here on Oahu, so this gives us a great opportunity to exercise our plan to ensure that it is the most effective and that we are ready to perform at our very best during a bad situation,” said Joseph Chesnut, TAMC Emergency Management specialist. “We don’t get to run through this every day, so an exercise like this can keep everyone’s mind fresh and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.”

Once TAMC was notified that it had incoming patients, the TAMC disaster response team transformed the Emergency Room parking lot into a makeshift triage area and began treating patients.

TAMC treated approximately 50 casualties that were injured during a building collapse on Fort Shafter, as well as four individuals who were severely injured on Schofield Barracks. Patients were transported to TAMC via ambulance, bus and helicopter.

The MASCAL was a collaborative exercise between TAMC, USAG-HI, U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks, Queens Medical Center, United Health Care, the Veterans Administration and the American Red Cross.

Doctors and nurses provide treatment to a mock patient during a Mass Casualty (MASCAL) scenario June 8. Tripler treated more than 50 patients during this scenario as part of the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii's annual Mass Casualty (MASCAL) exercise. (Photo by William Sallette, Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs)

Doctors and nurses provide treatment to a mock patient during a Mass Casualty (MASCAL) scenario June 8. Tripler treated more than 50 patients during this scenario as part of the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii’s annual Mass Casualty (MASCAL) exercise. (Photo by William Sallette, Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs)

“In a real-world MASCAL situation, there would be multiple entities coming together to assist the citizens and military personnel of Oahu,” said Chesnut. “That is why these exercises are so important. We all have to be on the same page and exercising the same plan, so we can respond as effectively and efficiently as we possibly can.”

TAMC practices MASCAL exercises to prepare for real-world situations and conducts two mass casualty response training events annually, as well as during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime exercise.

The full spectrum of services available at TAMC allows it to be one of only six hospitals in Hawaii that is designated as a National Disaster Medical System.

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Category: Exercises, News, Observances, Training

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