OSU, Samaritan, Others to Simulate Mass Casualty Event

disasterA gas leak in a Reser Stadium concession stand caused an explosion resulting in dozens of casualties during a home game. That’s a sentence no one wants to write, or read, ever again. And hopefully we won’t have to, thanks to the efforts of professionals conducting a drill planned for Thursday, Oct. 20.

The exercise is being orchestrated by OSU and Samaritan Health Services alongside community groups from Benton and Linn counties. Volunteers are needed to play the part of patients, their families, and a variety of other positions during the drill. Are fake wounds your thing? Do you have a background in stage makeup, acting experience, or are you just interested in community preparedness? This is directed at you in particular.

The first act takes place at OSU to test patient triage and transport procedures, as well as the disaster response capabilities of Student Health Services. Act 2 moves our tragic story to hospitals in Corvallis, Albany, and Lebanon to simulate the intake of not-so-smiling sports fans.

OSU’s Associate Vice President, University Relations and Marketing, Annie Anthon Heck wrote (passing along info from Mike Bamberger, OSU’s Emergency Preparedness Manager), “OSU will need about 130 patients to allow the responding EMTs to triage the patients and prioritize transport to the hospitals. Due to the design of the exercise, the OSU patients will stay at OSU for the duration of the exercise.” Each of the three hospitals will also need pre-stationed volunteers to descend on emergency rooms when directed.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the event should contact Aaron Crawford, Emergency Management/ Disaster Preparedness Program Specialist, at aacrawford@samhealth.org

By Matthew Hunt