Disaster Drill

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Griffin Tech EMT students prepare for the impending disaster drill by stocking needed emergency supplies.
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EMT students arrive at the disaster site
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EMT students assemble triage units
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EMT students assemble triage units
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EMT students load a wounded patient
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EMT students load a wounded patient
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1. Griffin Tech EMT students prepare for
the impending disaster drill by stocking
needed emergency supplies.

2. EMT students arrive at the disaster site
ready to assist volunteers posing as
wounded disaster victims.

3. and 4. EMT students assemble triage units
and assess the injuries of the wounded patients.

5. and 6. EMT students load a wounded patient
into a waiting ambulance to be transported
to Spalding Regional Medical Center.

7. EMT students stabilize a patient who
will be airlifted to the medical center
by an Emory Flight helicopter.

8. EMT students transfer their patients
into the care of Spalding Regional
Medical Center professionals.

9. A volunteer enjoys a quick recovery
after being treated for her wounds.

10. EMT students, volunteers and EMS
professionals gather together after an intense
day of disaster drill training in Griffin.

Someone was manufacturing
illegal drugs.

And something went terribly wrong.

As SWAT Team members raided the lab, there was an explosion. Bodies were hurled to the ground. Smoke filled the room. Shots were fired.

And when the lights came on and the smoke cleared, EMT students from Griffin Technical College rushed to the aid of the victims.

This time, everybody was lucky. It was only a drill.

But what a drill.

Each year, Griffin Tech stages a similar drill for the EMT class. Sometimes, the drill only consists of somebody with difficulty breathing. Sometimes, however, as with this drill in March, the re-creation plunges students into catastrophic circumstances that seem like a nightmare straight out of a prime-time medical drama.

“This kind of drill helps sharpen the students’ skills,” says Major Paul Beamon, instructor and lead disaster coordinator, who worked closely with the Spalding County Emergency Medical Service (EMS), Spalding Regional Medical Center, the Emory Flight team and the Griffin Fire and Police Departments to stage the event. “After nine months of training, the students are able to use their critical thinking skills and apply all they have learned.”

This year’s drill included elaborate makeup to simulate life-threatening injuries, a smoke machine and explosive charges to re-create the danger and confusion the students will face in the line of duty.

Once the drill began, students were challenged with assessing the injuries and prioritizing treatment. After a quick assessment, it was determined that one patient was dead on the scene. The other six were injured to varying degrees.

After checking vital signs, starting artificial breathing and stabilizing the patients, the students were then required to decide if and how their victims needed to be transported for further medical care. The most critically injured patient was airlifted by an Emory Flight helicopter to Spalding Regional Medical Center. The other five were taken by ambulance. The students were required to radio the hospital with the patients’ vital statistics and condition before arrival. Once at the hospital, the students had to transfer their patients to the doctors and nurses and explain what they found and what they had done for the patients.

Once the victims were safely at the local hospital, the students returned to Griffin Tech for a debriefing and evaluation of their actions. After completing Patient Care Reviews (PCRs), the future EMTs began to relive the evening. Overwhelmed, the students began to realize the tremendous responsibility that comes with being a first responder in a crisis.

“The students love the drills,” Lead Instructor Matt Jackson said. “Being able to use their skills and training in such a realistic situation gives them a taste of the real world and a great sense of satisfaction by knowing that when the time comes, they’ll be ready!” Results

EMT students stabilize a patient who
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EMT students transfer their patients into the care of Spalding Regional  Medical Center professionals.
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A volunteer enjoys a quick recovery after being treated for her wounds
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Photo of 
	  EMT students, volunteers and EMS professionals
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Table of Contents  |  Cover  |  From the Commissioner  |  Winning Combination  
Flying High  |  Georgia’s Best  |  Disaster Drill |  Image Is Everything  |  On the AirTo Infinity and Beyond
 Laying Out the Future  |  Good Shot  | Fire and IronCan You See Me Now?  |  A Fighting Chance  |  Vision Accomplished
President’s Perspective  |  Map of Schools  |  Georgia’s Technical College System