This is only a test: Piedmont Fayette stresses preparation with mass casualty drill

This is only a test: Piedmont Fayette stresses preparation with mass casualty drill

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Dr. Paula Brathwaite, medical director of the emergent department, examines the wounds on a victim during Thursday’s mass casualty drill. (Staff Photos by Christopher Dunn)

You don’t get to be ranked one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals by resting on your laurels. Preparation is key in healthcare, as hospitals must make sure they are ready for any situation. Thursday morning Piedmont Fayette Hospital took part in a regional mass casualty drill testing the ability to handle a large influx of patients in a short timeframe.

“The goal is making sure we’re prepared for any type of event that might occur,” said Michael Burnett, CEO of Piedmont Fayette. “We have to drill that to make sure we know what we’re doing and also find any opportunities for improvement that we need to look at.”

The scenario for the drill involved a hypothetical explosion at opening ceremonies for the new Atlanta Braves stadium on the north side of town. When people are fleeing the scene, there is an active shooter. Piedmont Fayette received a number of the victims, played by healthcare students from Luella High School, suffering from a number of injuries differing in type and severity.

“We hope to never have to use these types of skills, but, in the event that something does occur, we want to be as ready as possible.”

The participating hospitals needed to communicate effectively to share the load of the casualties, and Piedmont Fayette also focused on working with local EMS and public health officials.

IMG_9802“By training that, we can make sure we know how to do it together,” said Burnett. “The goal is always to be prepared.”

Christopher Dunn

Managing Editor Christopher Dunn has been with the Fayette County News since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Victory magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.