In Moscow, Idaho, officials in charge of training emergency responders felt that incorporating a playful element in necessary training would boost spirits and add interest to the standard practice. KLEW TV reports that the Moscow Volunteer Fire Department teamed up with the first responders from Latah County to hold a "Zombie UFO Crash Disaster." Designers of the drill wanted to test first responders' abilities to deal with a mass casualty event and felt the supernatural theme would add a playful, but memorable, addition to the traditional readiness training.
"We wanted to lighten things up, make it silly," said Moscow Volunteer Fire Department Division Chief Dave Reynolds, according to the news source. "And we knew that everyone knew that Zombies weren't real so we figured that was a pretty safe thing to put out there."
Shortly after 9 a.m., first responders received a call that a "Zombie UFO Crash" had occurred at Moscow High School that resulted in about 40 casualties in need of medical help. The fun twist on a traditional drill still allowed first responders to practice reacting quickly to large emergency situations and putting the correct operations in place. First responders had to come in an identify whether individuals were infected with the zombie alien virus or whether they were were victims of the crash.
"What we did is we came in, kind of swept the floors, looking for the bad guys, talking with the victims, finding out who was really seriously hurt," Moscow Police Lieutenant Paul Kwiatkowski told the news source.
Paramedics and EMTs had to come into the situation and set up a triage unit so that victims who were deemed critical received care first. Patients received a green, yellow and red triage tag to indicate their status to other emergency professionals combing the area.
"Triage is all about getting the critical patients the care they need first," said Moscow Volunteer Fire Department Paramedic Rick Andersen.
Green tags meant that a person was the walking wounded, yellow tags communicated that a person was severely injured and red triage tags showed that a person was in critical condition, reports KLEW TV. The training exercise even involved the transportation of patients to the nearest hospital.
Despite the use of a unorthodox theme, the drill was fully functional and volunteer first responders acted as if it was a real mass casualty event. Large training scenarios provide first responders, especially volunteers, with the proper knowledge to deal with emergency situations. Everything from how to react to a frightened victim to transporting patients to local areas hospitals and creating a parameter around the area needs to be tested and clarified.
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