Teams at St. Luke’s in Fruitland and Nampa put their emergency medical response skills to the test during recent mass casualty drills.

The drills offer medical staff the hands-on opportunity to practice and improve response capabilities for a large-scale disaster with multiple victims coming to the hospital and urgent care all at once.

The drills are also required by the Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The drill scenario in Fruitland this month was a multi-vehicle crash with 20 victims. Emergency medical response partners from Payette County Paramedics brought the patient actors to the St. Luke’s Fruitland emergency department to allow the teams to practice treating that many patients all at one time.

The Fruitland team’s drill also included an exercise on transferring high volumes of patients to Air St. Luke’s so they could be transported on to hospitals in Nampa, Meridian and Boise. 

In Nampa, the drill scenario was a bleacher collapse at a local high school. Twenty students were dressed up as victims and taken to the St. Luke’s Nampa emergency department with the help of Air St. Luke’s and Canyon County Paramedics.

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