York Region MedVents and St John Ambulance hosted a Multiple Casualty Incident exercise this month in conjunction with the York Region Police Venturers and Fire Venturers. MedVents is a section of Boy Scouts Canada which focuses on first aid training up to the First Responder Level. The event took place on 11 June 2011 at Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area in Stouffville. Scenarios challenged first aid, leadership and teamwork skills.
The event took place on 11 June 2011 at York Region Police Community Safety Village (Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area, Stouffville). The grounds are normally used to teach children about fire, traffic and personal safety. They turned out to provide an excellent revenue for realistic training. The small town was filled with specially-equipped buildings to enhance the scenario effects.
Police alarms rang through the village to mark the start of the scenarios. Dispatchers were isolated in a St. John’s Ambulance response vehicle, where they controlled resources. First responders arrived on scene and quickly decided to divide into Triage and Site Control, to ensure control and assessment of casualties as well as allied resources.
One response proved a success in training with a burning building. Police Venturers established a cordon and St. John’s Ambulance Rescuers and MedVents triaged and moved casualties to safety as Fire Venturers assembled and prepared to enter the building.
St. John’s Ambulance volunteers provided extensive and realistic injuries and make-up to the casualties. Skin tone, fake blood, protruding bones and broken teeth are among the many examples of the work completed. Props were used to represent environmental threats, such as plastic bottle pieces to represent glass.
In representing a real life disaster there were no breaks between scenarios. Resources drew thin and priorities set. Participants demonstrated leadership and teamwork in the absence of order or instruction. They learned lessons that could never be taught in a classroom. Scenarios challenged their limits of creativity and teamwork, such as extracting a worker from on top of an electrical transformer and finding safety for multiple casualties that were struck by a train.
The challenge and learning success of the event can be attributed to the realistic scenarios provided which could not have occurred without all of the supporting volunteers. Further support was provided by: York Region Police; York Region EMS; St John Ambulance; and the Salvation Army.