Claremore Daily Progress

October 24, 2013

Mock disaster tests team’s skills

Mark Friedel
Staff Reporter


Rogers State University EMS, Claremore Fire, Claremore Police Department and Rogers County Emergency Management, among others, held a “mock” emergency tornado drill Wednesday morning on the RSU campus. 
“The effort was more to test the capabilities of the hospitals during a disaster,” said Emergency Management Director Scotty Stokes. 
Approximately 16 paramedic students participated in the training, acting as injured patients.  Claremore firefighters and police officers were included as well, offering assistance to the “victims.” The participants were transported by van to Hillcrest Hospital Claremore  and the Indian Hospital in Claremore. 
Pafford EMS was not able to participate in the drill.
In the scenario, an F3 tornado had touched down on top of the RSU campus, injuring 16 while causing damage to roads and buildings.
Incident commanders, public service officers, as well as, emergency managers helped label patients while in the hospital.  Depending on the severity of their injuries, hospital staff transferred the patients to different hospitals if they could not be provided definitive care.
David Bales, emergency manager for the Indian Nations Hospital and organizer of the drill, said this was the second year for Claremore to perform the drill.
“Our goal is to make it bigger every year,” he said. “We’re looking at getting assistance from LifeFlight for training purposes next year.”
The agencies involved in the training held a “hot wash” Thursday morning to review how well the drill was performed.
“During the review period,  we evaluate the emergency as a whole, determining stages of the drill we need to work on and any recommendations people may have for next year’s drill,” said RSU EMS Instructor Larry Brewer. 
Brewer said for the most part, the scenario went as planned.
“We would have liked to see Pafford on scene, but those things happen in actual emergencies. That’s why I think these drills are needed and so useful for us.”