Triage is the Name of the Game
If you are able to save only one of the following: a baby, a young woman, an old woman or an old man, whom do you pick?
Triage is fighting the initial instinct of saving the most helpless in order to save more people in the limited amount of time a rescuer has before the building collapses. Nursing Professor Vincent Pair said the Disaster Drill tests the students’ ability to asses patients’ injuries, as well as their ability to care for them. Floyd Canup, Captain of the Sheriff’s Department, said, “The Disaster Drill exposes the student to life-like situations, however, in the field there are more civilians and it moves quicker.”
The annual drill is a mock trial, with roughly 200 nursing students, where the juniors act injured and the seniors rescue them from a common disaster that the Theater Department puts on display. They provide the lights, pyrotechnics and make-up. The city of Demorest and Habersham County send almost all available first responders, including the city of Demorest police and fire departments, Habersham County Medical Center and EMS, Habersham County Fire Department, Sheriff’s Office, 911/Emergency Management Agency, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security, Habersham Search and Rescue and the District Two Public Health Administration, according to Piedmont Police Chief Jim Andrews.
“The event has evolved and come a long way. It involves more agencies, more students and more departments,” Nursing Professor Jamie Johnson-Huff said. She has participated in the Disaster Drill for over 13 years. The students involved include high schoolers, theater, mass communications, athletic training and nursing students, each combining their skills to simulate a life-like disaster. “It is good to see them step up and watch how well they interact.”
Many of the nurses and athletic trainers felt prepared conducting the Disaster Drill, focusing on saving the lives of their classmates.