MASS CASUALTY SIMULATION EXERCISE
On Thursday, April 27, Reno-Tahoe International Airport simulated a major aircraft incident as part of a mass casualty exercise. The Federal Aviation Administration requires commercial airports to hold a full-scale disaster drill every three years.
According to airport spokesperson Trish Tucker, the mock scenario, dubbed “Broken Wing,” involved an inbound flight from Mexico City that caught fire due to an explosion upon landing.
There were approximately 84 volunteer “victims” in torn clothing and makeup to simulate injuries ranging from scratches to broken legs. The airport's fire department, Reno Fire Department, REMSA and other agencies worked to triage patients based upon their injuries—practicing what would happen if a mass-casualty incident actually occurred, and some of the volunteers were then transported from the scene to area hospitals.
Incline Village Community Hospital participated in this drill, accepting 10 green tag patients that were transported from the scene of the disaster simulation. Janet Glenny, RN, acted as Incident Commander for the drill. All of the nurses in Incline’s Emergency Room played an important role by registering, and later discharging, all 10 patients.
The Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGID) also took part by providing a shuttle to transport the patients to and from Reno. This was a great opportunity for the hospital to implement and practice its disaster plan to ensure preparedness in the event of a real large-scale emergency.