COD Hosts Mass Casualty Incident Simulation
By Mike McKissack
College of DuPage recently hosted a large-scale, “multi-casualty” incident simulation that included a collaboration between College participants, Central DuPage Hospital and local first responders.
Aimed primarily at paramedic students, the simulation featured approximately 110 participants, including COD students, faculty and staff in the College’s EMT and Nursing programs, the COD Police Department, as well as the Carol Stream Fire Department, Central DuPage Hospital (CDH), the Central DuPage Nursing and Education program, DuPage Public Safety Communications (DuComm) and Superior Ambulance.
Simulation organizer and CDH/COD Paramedic program instructor Chuck Sahly said he was pleased with the results of the training exercise.
“The simulation went extremely well,” Sahly said. “There are so many moving parts to something like this and it all worked out. Having ‘real-life’ resources and situations like this to test our students’ critical thinking and adaption skills is essential to a well-rounded education. The students responded and adapted well, while learning new skills in the process.”
Beginning in the immersive street scene lab in the Robert J. Miller Homeland Security Education Center, the exercise involved a multi-casualty shooting organized in the context of a summer event held in a downtown suburban location. Following the simulated shooting, COD police moved in to take control of the situation, capturing the “perpetrator” and securing the crime scene. Eighteen CDH/COD paramedic students arrived, assessed the situation, triaged victims and removed them from the scene, prioritizing injuries and attending to victims outside the HEC before transporting them to the College’s simulation hospital in the Health and Science Center where they were treated by COD Nursing students.
Sahly said immersive simulations such as this one are crucial to providing a hands-on learning experience for students.
“This experience reflects back to classroom information, however there is much more information and dynamic learning gained through a simulation like this,” Sahly said. “Considering the recent increase in this type of incident nationally and worldwide, simulations such as this are very pertinent to training today’s first responders.”
College of DuPage is an accredited community college that serves more than 29,000 students each term. The College, which grants nine associate degrees and more than 170 certificates in 100 areas of study, is the second largest provider of public undergraduate education in Illinois.
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