Over 200 students in the Chattahoochee Tech Nursing, Paramedicine and Emergency Medical Services Professions programs put their professional training into practice at a mass casualty drill held in conjunction with Campus Police and the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team on Thursday, Oct. 10, at the college’s Paulding Campus.
This drill simulated what medical personnel and emergency first responders would need to do in the event of an active shooter, bombing and hostage situation. Under the supervision of their instructors, teams of senior nursing students worked with students studying to be EMTs and Paramedics to quickly determine the appropriate triage and medical care for students staged as victims while Campus Police worked with the SWAT Team in an exercise to secure the location.
“This is an opportunity for our students to see what this situation would bring if they were in it in real life. They’re learning what it takes to be able to interact at the foundational level,” said Chattahoochee Tech Dean of Nursing Quetina Pittman-Howell. “At the end of the drill, we have a debriefing. We talk about the emotions and the feelings that we experienced, the challenges we experienced, and the things that hindered or contributed to our ability to work in our teams.”
Chattahoochee Tech senior nursing student Melissa Palfrey expressed appreciation for the opportunity to participate in this type of drill. “Because there are so many of these types of incidents happening now, this is a good experience for us,” said Palfrey. “When we walk into the ER as brand-new nurses, we will have a better idea of what to do. We’re training to be able to handle this.”
Chattahoochee Tech works diligently to maintain a safe and secure campus environment, according to Chattahoochee Tech Police Lieutenant & Training Officer Mary Forman. “Any type of scenario can happen at any time,” said Forman. “We learn something new every time we participate in this type of training. We value this training very much.”