This past Saturday, Team Survivault™ had a fantastic experience participating in a California ShakeOut earthquake response drill. We donned our CERT gear and went through a San Fernando Valley neighborhood on a Search & Rescue mission to perform post-earthquake damage assessment, identify persons and animals in need of medical attention, provide basic first aid, and transport the injured to an emergency triage and medical tent set up in a nearby park.
About 50 adults and children volunteered their morning to be our “victims”. Their wounds looked completely realistic thanks to several professional make-up artists who donated their time and expertise – creating everything from simple abrasions and deep gashes, to some nasty head wounds and a stomach-churning compound fracture. It was an incredibly realistic simulation.
Once we had delivered the wounded to the medical tents, other volunteers with first aid training tended to the victims until the professional fire and first responders showed up. They then loaded the most seriously “injured” into real ambulances and off to area hospitals. They even brought in an LAFD helicopter to air-evac a patient.
The purpose of the California ShakeOut exercise was to provide realistic training for first responders, hospital staff and CERT personnel, and test disaster response systems and procedures for effectiveness. Whether you were a “victim” or responder, this California Shakeout drill was an incredibly valuable simulation and we encourage you to participate in one if you get the chance.