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

 The first of many imaginary shooting "victims" arrives by ambulance just outside the THM Trauma Center entrance
Tom Flanigan
The first of many imaginary shooting "victims" arrives by ambulance just outside the hospital's trauma center on Friday, May 20, 2022.

A constant stream of "victims" poured into the hospital's trauma center in order to stress the capabilities of the facility and its staff

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital's trauma center was the scene of a realistic mass shooting response exercise on Friday. 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.

Florida Strate University students played the part of the victims, several with makeup simulating bullet wounds.

As patients kept coming, Tallahassee Memorial Emergency Services executive 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," Thomas said.

Philip Doyles, the hospital's emergency eanagement chief, 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," Doyles said.

An ongoing process to better prepare everyone for the day the real thing happens.

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