MCC mock disaster trains nursing, paramedic students

Posted at 3:01 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 18:18:48-04

Burns, broken bones, open wounds - as paramedics prioritized the injuries, bloodied victims cried out for help.

"It puts us out of our comfort zone," explained Colin Jokisch. "We are used to taking single patients at a time, they're low acuity, they aren't usually as hurt as they are in a situation like this." 

The situation -- an explosion in Midtown at Metropolitan Community College. But there's a reason you didn't hear about it; because it was all fake. It was an exercise meant to help paramedic, EMT and nursing students learn how to triage patients after a large scale disaster.

"The next time we are going to be doing this, it's going to be real," explained Jokisch, an MCC paramedic student. "It will be real patients. This is a great way for us to do this in a controlled environment with our peers and our instructors and get good feedback on how we did."

The simulation brought together 120 MCC students so they can learn how to be best prepared for a worst case scenario.

"People need to be trained on how to respond, especially in this day in age living in the world in a time of terrorism," said Tony Ross, the interim president at MCC's Penn Valley campus. "You don't know when it will occur. Even if it's not terrorist activity, you're looking at large fires that our students have to respond to, so our students get practice so they know what to do, how to do it, what to expect in those situations."

So the first time they're dealing with this kind of stress isn't when it's the real thing.

After the mock disaster drill, instructors explained to students what they did right and what they needed to improve on. They will spend part of the semester working on those improvements.