ST. LOUIS – One day after a mass shooting left five dead and several others injured in Louisville, Kentucky, important mass casualty training took place Tuesday morning in St. Louis.
The Washington University Emergency Medical Department hosted the training, which took place at the Steinberg Skating Rink in Forest Park. The scenes may have been staged, but the knowledge that the participants gained is very real.
The training went for a couple of hours from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
There were three simulated mass casualty incidents from explosions – one had adult victims only, one incorporated children as victims, and a third was staged as a music festival or a rave where there could be hundreds or even thousands of people including some victims who may be drunk or on drugs.
There were about 30 ER Residents from Barnes-Jewish Hospital specializing in emergency medicine who took part in the training. There were also some undergrad Wash U medical students playing actor roles where they had make-up on, to make it appear that they were hurt.
Those involved told FOX 2 that this kind of training is taking on more significance than usual given the mass shootings happening around the country, including the one that took place just yesterday in Louisville.
We talked with Dr. Alex Croft, a faculty member for the Wash U School of Medicine and an ER doctor at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He was also the organizer of this morning’s event.
“So our goal here is to kind of give people an opportunity to deal with some of the themes in mass casualty events such as triage, crisis resource management, excellent communication, teamwork, leadership – before they have to do this on real patients,” Dr. Croft explain.
Although Tuesday’s training was more timely because of Monday’s tragedy in Louisville, it was planned prior to that tragic incident.