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Mass casualty simulation helps hospitals prepare for worst-case scenario

In the wake of the tragedy in California, Austin-area hospitals held an exercise practicing for a similar mass casualty event. (CBS Austin)

In the wake of the tragedy in California, Austin-area hospitals held an exercise practicing for a similar mass casualty event.

The full-scale exercise facilitated by the Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council is meant to test disaster plans and coordination of regional resources.

At Dell Children’s Medical Center, high school students acted as victims. Volunteers wheeled them into the hospital where staff triaged them as necessary.

"A disaster can strike at any time, so we want to make sure we are always prepared," said CATRAC Deputy Director Robin Wiatrek

Wiatrek said the shooting in California only reinforces the need for the drills.

"We will talk about the aspects of what worked well, what could be improved on, what are some quick fixes, what might be some areas of long range planning that we need to work towards," said Wiatrek.

Hospitals in an 11 county region participated in the training. Call centers and emergency responders all worked together to simulate the necessary coordination during a crisis.

Wiatrek said it’s that teamwork and practice that can save lives.

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