Compiled by The Bedford Citizen
Fire engines and ambulances from multiple surrounding towns will appear in the parking lot at Whole Foods Market early on the morning of Tuesday, May 1. The apparatus will be present to support the Bedford Fire Department in providing medical aid to the victims in the Active Shooter Drill, a simulated mass casualty incident (MCI) simulation scheduled at the Bedford VA.
Bedford’s Fire Chief David Grunes and his men appreciate the drill as an excellent opportunity to test their ability to manage an MCI and make any corrections needed for any future incidents.
As the drill’s lead responder, Bedford will be supported by personnel and apparatus from Billerica, Burlington, Concord, and Lexington, along with Armstrong Ambulance Service.
The drill is set to begin about 7:45 am and its first phase involves the Bedford police assisted by other departments who will respond to the shooting scene and secure it so that medical personnel can safely care for the wounded. Phase two of the drill involves the care of the wounded, with emergency equipment deploying from the Whole Foods Market parking lot to the VA on Springs Road. The drill is expected to end by 11 am.
The Importance of Multiple Casualty Incident Drills
Tuesday’s Active Shooter Drill, with the number of casualties that will be simulated, is considered a mass casualty incident (MCI). Local agencies such as Bedford’s fire department are required by the Massachusetts Office of Emergency Medical Services to practice managing MCIs so the department will be prepared should such an incident really take place.
Many different incidents could be considered MCIs, including school bus crashes, a shooting at a school or workplace, or a chemical release at a business that affects many employees.
Regardless of the specific incident, the systems set up to manage emergency scenes are similar and require many roles to be filled. Those arriving at an MCI must be able to fill any one of a number of these roles.
The May 1 exercise is an opportunity to place Bedford firefighters and paramedics in various roles so they understand what would be needed from them at a future incident.