The Lord Fairfax Emergency Medical Services Council has announced that it hosted a Mass Casualty Incident virtual tabletop exercise on June 27 in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health's Lord Fairfax Health District and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The Lord Fairfax EMS Council is responsible for having an operable MCI Plan in place, so this exercise consisted of an overview of the area's most recent MCI plan. After that was a four-hour tabletop exercise for which key personnel from the local emergency management community discussed a mass casualty incident that involved a simulated school bus crash with more than 60 patients. The objective of this exercise was to familiarize participants with the MCI plan and further refine multijurisdictional MCI response through multi-agency collaboration and communication.
Through use of video conference technology, the virtual tabletop exercise was broadcast from the FEMA Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Md., and allowed responders across the nation to compare and contrast ideas by simultaneously participating in the facilitated discussion.
The exercise was well received on a local level with 21 mass casualty incident plan stakeholders attending from numerous agencies, including the Virginia Department of Transportation, Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission, Valley Health, Northwestern Regional Hospital Association, Lord Fairfax Health District, Frederick County Fire & Rescue, City of Winchester Fire & Rescue, Clarke County Sheriff's Office, Clarke County administration, Clarke County Public Schools, Boyce Fire Department and the Lord Fairfax EMS Council.
Local facilitation was provide by Justin Ferrel, LFHD public health emergency planner, and Kendra Sours, EMS systems coordinator at Lord Fairfax EMS Council. The new virtual tabletop exercise format also drew observers from the State Office Readiness Program, U.S. Senate and the Office of the Sergeant at Arms.