Mock disaster held at SKCTC

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, April 19, 2018

There were severely wounded students laying in the halls of the Troy Welch Science Building on the Southeast Kentucky Technical and Community College located on the Middlesboro campus.

All types of various wounds were seen on the victims of an accidental explosion in the diesel mechanics department on April 19. Head wounds, abdomen wounds, arm and leg wounds, and burns are just a few of the injuries glimpsed. Some people are even trapped under debris that has been blown away by the explosion.

Firemen and emergency technicians run into the building to assess the wounded and help them. People are carried on stretchers, given IV’s and carried out if they are able to walk. There is fear and confusion in the air as a woman runs down the hall crying out for a friend.

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The tense chatter of emergency management radio and walkie-talkie fill the building as much as the cries of the wounded.

All of this however, was not real. It was a mock emergency disaster designed, coordinated and executed to test the allied health students in the schools Emergency Operation Plan. The mock disaster is not only a grade for the students, but it is also a way to test the plans set in place if a real emergency were to occur.

Natosha Pace, Clinical Lab Specialist of the Pineville campus of SKCTC, planned the mock disaster.

Pace started planning the event in February to get the date set and connect all of the emergency management agencies that would help in the effort. Kentucky State Police, Middlesboro Fire Department, Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Bell County Fire Department and ARH were all involved.

All those who acted as the wounded and the responders were students of the program. There were 48 graduating students who were the caretakers and performers and 56 freshmen were the victims.

The nursing department applied all of the various wounds seen on the mock victims.

“To get everybody in makeup and ready, it took two hours,” said Pace.

Pace also had to take the time to plan out all of the wounds that would be seen on the victims. They were all meant to simulate the injuries a person would sustain in the kind of emergency represented at the event.

It was also a way to ensure that the students performing mock medical help would not know what they were getting and have to rely on their education and training.

“This is their Final Skills Exam. It gives them the opportunity to display to us all of the skills they have learned throughout the program,” said Pace.

She concluded, “It went really well today. I’m really proud of everyone involved.”

President of SKCTC Dr. Vic Adams stated “I believe that our mock disaster went extremely well today. Natosha Price, who coordinated this event, and all of our nursing faculty are to be commended, as well as all of our students and members of our Emergency Operations Plan. This is an invaluable training experience.”