Across the nation, hospitals practice mass casualties response drills, including here in Bismarck. Both CHI St. Alexius and Sanford health explained how they work together during a crisis and why having a plan is so important.
"We plan for Mass casualty, pan flu, so it's constant planning, constant exercising and training, just being prepared,” said Emergency management coordinator for CHI St. Alexius Doris Weiss.
"Every emergency is going to have a unique set of variables that you're going to have to deal with, but you have to have a starting point that's going to get the resources that we need basically in the right place at the right time going the right direction,” said Sanford Safety Director Brad Erickson. The plan starts in the field with the first responders, who give the hospital an idea of the severity of the situation.
"We're going to be bringing them a lot of patients in short order, and so they also need to be prepared to accept the patients the way we triage them,” said paramedic Dan Schaefer.
Once the hospitals get an idea of the situation, they get ready to treat.
"Patients are going to be reassessed once they get to the medical center and we will take the according actions for those patients,” said Erickson.
"Our facilities off-site are aware of what's happening in case we need to draw them in,” said Weiss.
Then it's treating until the job is done. The hospitals also say they will work with state emergency services, along with local law enforcement during a mass casualty event.
Andrew Horn Reporting