West Columbia, SC (Angelica Iglesias) – Tuesday, approximately 400 people participated in a full-scale mock disaster hosted by National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) and South Carolina Forestry Commission (SCFC). The exercise was held at the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission attached to the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.
The drill portrayed an unspecified disaster that hit a major metropolitan area outside of the Midlands. As a part of the scenario, the mock patients came from their local health care facilities that needed to make bed space for new patients to get treated in the Midlands. The “patients” came in on a C-17, were moved to a hangar equipped with trained staff, and then transported to a hospital after their mock injuries were evaluated.
Over 150 civilians volunteered to be mock patients. A large portion of the volunteers was made up of South University’s entire nursing program. As the students were “treated,” they not only helped a good cause, but received experience in a disaster situation.
Many agencies assisted in the operation which included 48 local, state, federal, healthcare, and non-profit organizations and 12 hospitals or healthcare providers from six different counties. This was the first year there was a tent for patients who experienced mental trauma during the disaster, such as PTSD.
The mock disaster takes place annually, and last year’s was held in Greenville, SC.
This video was shot today during the drill and explains the entire process and its importance: