Calhoun Disaster Drill Is Class Exercise

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Plenty of emergency vehicles and first responders at Calhoun Community College this morning, but nothing was wrong. Actually it was a class exercise designed to prepare future nurses and paramedics for what they may face in the future.

The disaster drill is an annual event at Calhoun. Its designed to demonstrate the stress of a real emergency.

“We do cross discipline with our students. So we have our surg-tech students, our nursing students and our paramedic students all particvipating in this event trying to simulate what a real-life event will be like to teach them how to work together and how each one has a specialty that they all come together for the betterment of the patient,” according to Bret McGill, Dean of Health Sciences at Calhoun.

To the extent of setting up a mock operating room, the disaster plays out to its conclusion. Not all of the patients will survive.

“We hope they understand they’ve kinda been in a silo for their two years of education and now all of a sudden they’re fixing to be put out in the real world where they’re going to have to interact with other disciplines,” McGill says.

And the seemingly real-life experience of the drill gives way to the interaction with those who currently do the job, who answer the calls for help, the mission many of these students will take up after they graduate next month.

HEMSI, Decatur Fire and Rescue, MedFlight as you saw, and a host of other local emergency responders all assist in making the drill as realistic as possible.

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