So, what if the shooting hoax at Erie High was actually a real-life crisis? Local crews were put to the test to see if they’re ready for the unexpected.
Emergycare’s headquarters was transformed into a simulation for emergency crews.
“I’m excited to see how it plays out it’s definitely scary to like think about this actually happening,” said Camille, a simulated victim and Penn West Edinboro nursing student.
Disaster scenarios that once seemed unimaginable have become a disturbing reality.
Local EMS, Erie Police and the Erie Fire Department came together to participate in a mass casualty drill.
“Is the training in real life going to come together here and work properly?” asked Dan Spizarny, Chief of Erie Police. “We’re going to throw a few curves at them. That they’re not expecting. It’s a learning experience.”
Organizers planned every detail, from exact timing, pathways and location. An emergency physician explained that it’s been over 10 years since training for a drill of this scale.
“This is why it’s so important to do this is to be able to identify ways that we can continually improve this process,” said Dr. Jestin Carlson, an emergency physician.
In light of the recent shooting in Nashville, tornados down south and train derailment, the director of the drill said that it’s important to be prepared.
“In Erie we have a major railway, we have 90 which gets snowed in you can get pileups there, busses can turn over,” said Dr. Scott Ducharme, an emergency physician and EMS director.
With advanced planning, the simulated shooter was supposed to be apprehended in the garage behind me but officers stopped the threat before he could get there.
“The whole point of doing the drill is to figure out where we’re having problems before we have to do this in real life. So, if we can identify something that’s not working now when we’re pretending, it won’t be an issue when it actually matters,” Dr. Scott Ducharme explained.
“The number of volunteers from the community both in the hospital and with our partners in EMS, fire and police we have over 100 individuals in the process to be able to help put on this event,” Dr. Carlson went on to say.
To conclude the drill, victims were transported to the AHN ambulance bay for residents in their graduate medical education program to get hands on experience.