Mitchell Community College is working to prepare students and local public safety personnel for disaster situations. 

On April 26, Mitchell held its third Interdisciplinary Disaster Simulation Exercise, which permits collaboration with multiple college departments and local responders, said the college's Director of Public Safety David Bullins.

“It is important because nursing doesn’t work by itself… [they] need other disciplines to help,” said Linda Wiersch, the dean of nursing.

This drill shows the importance of each role public safety personnel takes to make sure the best care is given to an individual from the site of an accident through transport to the hospital.  These efforts were displayed despite the late-morning rainfall on Friday.  This event involved around 150 Mitchell Community College students.

The disaster simulation involved a hazardous incident which had a U-Haul truck carrying supplies for a meth lab that was in an incident with a bus driver who was impaired and caused the wreck.  The simulated accident caused approximately 40 injuries with the walking wounded being exposed to toxic gas. They had to be decontaminated before transport to hospital.

The MCC Science building was set up to be a local hospital with second-year nursing students playing the part of the hospital staff.  The first-year students played the part of the patients throughout the simulation.  Each patient had their own story, with costume makeup to help express their personal injuries; one student even played the role of a pregnant passenger in the school bus.

The participants in this training included Mitchell Community College public safety disciplines which are fire training, EMS training (paramedic and EMT), basic law enforcement training, nursing department and medical office assisting department.

Local public safety also participated, including the Statesville fire and police departments, Mooresville Fire Rescue and Iredell County Emergency Management and Fire Marshal.

This event happens once a year and requires a lot of planning and support from MCC staff and community officials, Wiersch said.

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