Emergency drill at Queensbury Elementary School

Posted at: 04/21/2013 8:56 PM
Updated at: 04/22/2013 1:22 AM
By: Steve Flamisch

QUEENSBURY -- Covered in fake blood and Hollywood-style wounds, dozens of children streamed into Glens Falls Hospital Sunday as part of an emergency management exercise meant to prepare first responders and hospital staff for a mass casualty incident.

The drill began with a fake explosion at Queensbury Elementary School, where more than fifty students and staff were "injured." Real EMTs, firefighters, and police officers rushed in to triage the victims and provide medical attention.
"Practice makes perfect," hospital spokeswoman Darlene Raynsford said. "We've got so many community agencies involved in this today and we're all united in the fact that we need to take care of our community and our patients."
The exercise was planned well before the Boston Marathon bombings, Raynsford said. Authorities in Warren County try to stage at least one full-scale drill every year to test and improve their response.
"I knew this could help me prepare for stuff that could happen anytime really," ninth grader Jon Legault, who played one of the victims, said. "So it kind of makes me feel more prepared."
Victims are triaged by color. Green have only minor injuries. Yellow are more seriously injured but not in imminent danger of dying. Red require immediate medical attention in order to survive. Black are already dead.
"You're not dead, you're red," one hospital staff member said while assessing an incoming patient.
Raynsford, the hospital spokeswoman, said additional exercises are planned.
"The best way to be prepared in an emergency like this is to practice, work out the kinks, and be ready for the next one," she said. "You never know what's going to happen."