On May 18, the College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (NYITCOM) Ferrara Center for Patient Safety and Clinical Simulation organized and hosted a three-day, multi-agency event aimed at training emergency professionals and medical students to respond to a lifelike mass casualty incident. The event was held in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Nassau County Fire Police Academy, Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC), and police and emergency medical service corps from local municipalities. Approximately 200 learners treated 40 simulated patients (high-fidelity mannequins and people acting as injured individuals).
NYITCOM student Alyssa Strasburg, who assisted Simulation Technology Specialist Timothy Devine in organizing the event, emphasized why the training was essential for future physicians. “The time to get used to these things—which, albeit, are all too real—is right now, when it’s simulated and it’s fake so that if the real thing does happen, they’re prepared,” she said.
After two days of instruction, participants put their learning to the test in a realistic mass casualty drill. They were tasked with responding to a simulated hostage situation in the W. Kenneth Riland Academic Health Care Center’s auditorium, which evolved into a mock active shooter scenario. Injured “victims” were appropriately managed and triaged by FBI medics and others, then transported upstairs to the Ferrara Center for Patient Safety and Clinical Simulation, where NYITCOM students took on the role of emergency room providers and acted as some of the wounded. Part of the simulation even included an airlift scenario in which a mannequin was helicoptered to NUMC for mass casualty incident response training on the hospital’s campus.
“Never in my dreams of going to medical school did I ever think that I’d be participating in a [simulated] multi-agency, mass casualty event,” said medical student Edward Oser, who is also a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. “It was nice to get a small taste of that now, in a controlled environment, where you can make mistakes and learn.”
Video credit: Steven Gaines, Dost Khalique, Mario Launi