Active shooter drill preps hospitals for mass casualty events

The EMS chief for Eugene Springfield Fire is urging residents to be prepared for an active shooter event.

Posted: May 10, 2019 2:51 PM
Updated: May 10, 2019 6:20 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Twenty patients coved in bloody bandages surged the emergency room at McKenzie Willamette Medical Center on Friday after an active shooter situation, but don't be alarmed, it was only a drill.

Hospitals across Lane County participated in the exercise. McKenzie Willamette spokeswoman Jana Waterman said the purpose of the drill was meant to demonstrate the capacity and capability to activate the incident command when a hospital has been notified of a local mass casualty incident.

It is also being used to demonstrate the process and procedures of mass triage and treatment areas for a surge in patients that would overwhelm the ER.

Noah Parker volunteered during the drill as a gunshot victim and was covered in bandages and fake blood.

"The nurses and doctors in this hospital know what they are doing, and they are ready if an incident does happen around town or anywhere," Parker said.

Dr. Bryan McVay, the trauma medical director for McKenzie Willamette,said prioritizing care, keeping track of who's helped who and making sure they have enough supplies on hand are just some of the challenges they face during a mass casualty event like an active shooter situation.

"Being able to practice that does give us a platform in real life," McVay said. "Hopefully, we never need to but increasingly we do need to."

JoAnna Kamppi, the EMS chief for Eugene Springfield Fire, urges residents to be prepared for an active shooter event. She said people should learn how to stop and control bleeding to help save lives before first responders arrive. You can take classes at local hospitals or learn online. For more information, click here.

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