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Fall 2023 Biannual Mass Casualty Incident Drill

Every fall and winter semester, BYU’s College of Nursing, Emergency Medical Services (EMTs), the Department of Risk Management, and campus police participate in a mass casualty incident drill, or MCI. This drill teaches nursing students how to operate in emergencies within a high-stakes, hectic environment. This semester’s MCI was a simulated mass shooting staged on Saturday, Nov. 4 in the Marriott Center.

Nursing students and EMTs provided medical aid for over 100 volunteers that were staged as mass shooting victims. All aspects of this training process were made to be as realistic as possible, in order to prepare students for a similar mass casualty incident. Some points that our nursing students specifically focused on were the triage, treatment and transport of injured victims. The time-sensitive nature of these tasks was highlighted as a significant challenge during the training. The need to swiftly and accurately determine the level of urgency for each victim can be demanding, and any delays in this process may result in an increased risk of further injury or, in the worst-case scenario, death.

Moreover, the simulation brought attention to the complexities involved in locating and identifying victims within a chaotic and dynamic environment. Nursing students, in particular, faced the practical difficulties associated with efficiently locating and reaching injured individuals, underscoring the importance of efficient processes and coordination in emergency response scenarios.

The overarching goal of this realistic training exercise was to expose participants to the critical factors that come into play during a mass casualty incident, fostering their ability to make quick, informed decisions under pressure. By immersing themselves in this lifelike simulation, nursing students and EMTs gained valuable insights into the challenges inherent in providing effective medical aid during high-stress situations, ultimately better equipping them for future emergencies.

The College of Nursing would like to thank all the volunteers and organizations that made this drill possible. We commend our nursing students for their remarkable commitment and diligent efforts.

The next MCI has been scheduled for the end of March 2024.