Hospitals, first responders train for disasters, mass casualties

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Multiple serious bus crashes in the last week across Tennessee highlight the importance for first responders and hospitals to be prepared for anything.

At Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), it starts with a page or a phone call from an emergency agency letting staff know what will be coming through the door.

In the case of a mass casualty incident (MCI), a hospital-wide disaster system is activated.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

“We will make notifications within Vanderbilt’s Trauma Center, and also to some of the other Nashville hospitals, to make sure we’re prepared to take the larger-than-normal influx of patients,” said Jeff Gray, emergency communications manager at VUMC. “All of our staff are trained, including the physicians and caregivers. As they say, plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

Hospitals and first responder agencies can learn from serious incidents when they occur.

After an incident like the school bus crash on I-65 in Nashville last week, some Vanderbilt staff reviewed the performance so they can learn what worked well or even what didn’t.

Some agencies will also reach out to Chattanooga hospitals and first responders eventually to try and learn from their experience after this week’s deadly school bus crash.

Click here for more on the Chattanooga school bus crash.