Mass Casualty Drill in Augusta
An explosion at the Togus VA Medical Center in Augusta exposed dozens of people to Anthrax. It happened Tuesday morning, but don’t worry, it was only a test. A big scene at the Togus VA Medical Center in Augusta. ” It started out with a biological bomb in the gym where contaminants were, involving five patients,” said Dennis Passmore, acting police chief. It didn’t end there. An explosive went off in the theater giving emergency crews more than 30 additional patients to take care of. ” The answer you always get from small places, well, it never can happen here. We want to be ready if it does,” said Passmore. This is just a test. It’s put on by the Maine VA Healthcare System, as a joint effort between area hospitals, fire departments and the Maine National Guard. ” Anytime that we can get some training, to test what you have for resources and test what you’ve been drilling, is very valuable, ” said Franklin True, fire chief at Togus. ” It’s very important to see that each facility, each hospital, can work together. Who helps in transport, triage, how do you get people to other hospitals if there’s too many patients here,” added Passmore. As with any training, the goal is to find things that need to be done better. ” I think probably the triage may be an issue, the coordination out of transport may be an issue, but I think overall, it’s gone well,” said Passmore. Other emergency agencies throughout the state hold mass casualty trainings too.