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News & Headlines

May 5, 2016


First Responder, Nursing Students Prepare for Disasters With 'Mass Casualty' Training

Students from Three Rivers College came together with Emergency Medical Responders and medical facilities from across the area on May 4 to participate in the college’s bi-annual "Mass Casualty" training event.

Participants dealt with the aftermath of a simulated school bus crash in the training held on the Westwood campus of Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center. The event was designed to give students hands-on practice in handling a large-scale emergency incident, including incident command, triage, and on-scene medical treatment. Students also practiced coordinating an emergency helicopter evacuation, vehicle rescue, and emergency room treatment.

"These hands-on mass casualty training events are invaluable not only to our students but to the community as a whole," said Dr. Staci Campbell, Chair of Nursing and Allied Health at Three Rivers. "Between the fact that so many local organizations participated and the fact that the vast majority of our nursing and allied health students remain in the area after graduating, this training helps to prepare Southeast Missouri as a whole in the event of a disaster."

Participating students were drawn from Three Rivers’ Nursing and Allied Health programs in Poplar Bluff, LPN to RN Bridge program students from Sikeston, and EMT/paramedic students from Poplar Bluff. In addition, the simulated "victims" were students from Three Rivers’ Poplar Bluff and Sikeston Nursing classes. Students received class credit for the training.

Assisting in the exercise were a number of local organizations, including Rural/Metro, Butler County EMS, Clearwater Ambulance District, North Scott County Ambulance Service and Ripley County Ambulance District; Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center; Black River Medical Center; VA Medical Center, Poplar Bluff School District, and an Air Evac Lifeteam flight crew.

"This type of training is essential in making sure that our students are prepared for potential emergencies," said Mike Willis, Simulation Lab Coordinator for Three Rivers. "When they get out in the field, they won’t have time to stop and think. This sort of hands-on practice is the difference between freezing up and getting the job done when a real disaster strikes."

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Students from Three Rivers’ EMT and Paramedic programs triage and treat a “patient” during the college’s bi-annual mass casualty training.
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