Fisher-Titus, North Central EMS, Janotta & Herner, and local agencies gain valuable experience from mass casualty incident training
Last month, Fisher-Titus and Janotta & Herner partnered to host an emergency training exercise at the Huron County Fairgrounds. Many local emergency agencies participated in the July 12 and 13 drill including North Central EMS, Norwalk, Milan Township, Bellevue, and Berlin Heights fire departments, and MetroHealth and Metro Life Flight.
Fisher-Titus conducts several drills each year to prepare for different types of emergency situations. In addition to being valuable in preparing for real-life crises, two drills per year are required by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program.
“Drills are crucial for all our staff but especially our first responders,” said Ashley Ballah, director of North Central EMS. “They help us keep our technical and critical thinking skills sharp so that we are always ready if we had to respond to an actual large-scale emergency.”
For the July exercise, North Central EMS, which is owned by Fisher-Titus, reached out to Janotta & Herner about partnering to create a larger-scale, mass casualty incident emergency drill.
“I had talked to Ashley who explained these mass casualty incident drills North Central EMS and Fisher-Titus participate in,” said Tyler Wasserman, director of business development for Janotta & Herner. “We jumped at the opportunity to partner with them. It’s a great opportunity for us as a company to increase our safety.”
Janotta & Herner were tasked with creating a realistic scenario and building an emergency scene for the event.
“Partnering with Janotta & Herner allows us to give our first responders and emergency department staff a more realistic experience,” explained Ballah. “Because of the region we serve, it is feasible to think that any mass casualty incident or traumatic injury they respond to could be construction related. Having Janotta & Herner as partners on this drill helped us create a real-life scenario and therefore made the drill more educational and beneficial to all of our participants.”
The scenario was that Janotta & Herner crews were working on a trench when a semi-truck driver had a heart attack, crashing into the job site sending steel beams sliding off the truck. Volunteers acted as patients, simulating injuries for emergency personnel to triage and treat. These “patients” were even transported to the Fisher-Titus Emergency Department giving staff there valuable experience receiving and treating patients with traumatic injuries.
“It’s been great working to put this together; it’s been a very enlightening for us,” said Wasserman. “We have a very rigorous and thorough safety program at Janotta & Herner but I don’t know if you can ever really plan for something like this. Our nature as humans is to help but through this process we’ve come to understand that us much as you want to help you could do more harm than good when it comes to the injuries. Acting this out has allowed us to better plan for something like this and we are eager to take this information back and adapt it to our safety program.
“The drill was a huge success for all the participants,” said Ballah. “We are grateful to Janotta & Herner for taking this on. Everyone worked really well together and we all gained invaluable knowledge and experience.”