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A simulated mass shooting scenario puts Tallahassee Memorial's trauma center to the test

emergency staff wheeling person on stretcher from ambulance in parking garage
Tom Flanigan
WFSU Public Media
The first of many imaginary shooting "victims" arrives by ambulance just outside the THM Trauma Center entrance

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital's trauma center was the scene of a realistic mass shooting response exercise on Friday, May 20. Scores of badly "wounded" patients tried to push the facility and its staff to the limit.

As the first of many ambulances arrived, trauma team members raced to get the imaginary shooting victim into the nearest triage room.
FSU students played the part of the victims, several with makeup simulating bullet wounds.

As patients kept coming, TMH Emergency Services Exec Kyrie Thomas explained the complexities involved.

"It's a team effort in terms of getting these patients to the hospital, getting them triaged appropriately, and then getting those EMS resources back out into the community to help the additional patients that they need to."

The hospital's Emergency Management Chief Philip Doyles said a post-exercise review would provide guidance for future drills.

"Put together all of our lessons learned and in the next drill we'll test to see what new things we put in place to see how it impacted from the last drill."

The simulation represents an ongoing process in place to better prepare emergency staff for possible future events.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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