Medical center in need of volunteer patients for disaster drill

On June 7, Wrangell Medical Center will hold its annual mass casualty exercise to prepare staff for real emergencies. But they need bodies.

“We’re looking for up to 10 volunteers that would be a part of the patient base,” said hospital administrator Carly Allen. “They would play a specific role that would be assigned to them. They would go through a makeup moulage tent, (making ‘wounds’) visually apparent.”

A few volunteers have already signed up to participate in the drill, which takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., but depending on the roles assigned, some volunteers might need to show up by 3:30 p.m. or 4 p.m. to be prepared for the drill. Some will have more makeup applied than others.

Allen said she has participated as a health care worker and as a victim in past drills, which can be a lot of fun, but the purpose is much more serious.

“What we’re simulating is something that stretches our resources,” she said. “It’s more patients than we would normally expect. It strains our system and shows where we have areas that need improvement.”

Volunteers must be 18 or older or have a parent’s consent, but Allen said it would be good to have younger children or a family to have a wider representation of people in need of treatment. Volunteers must also be willing to commit up to five hours of their time, be interested in role-playing, and understand that the event will be extremely realistic.

Those who would like to volunteer can contact Michelle Walters by calling 360-391-4701 or emailing michelle.walters@tegria.com.

 

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