Salem Health runs mass casualty drill hours after California shooting
by Jonathan Bach, Salem Statesman Journal
In a tragic coincidence, doctors and staff at Salem Health Hospitals & Clinics ran a mass casualty exercise Thursday — with about 50 high school students posing as victims — mere hours after a gunman opened fire Wednesday in a Southern California bar, leaving at least 12 dead.
The drill, planned long before Wednesday's shooting, allowed hospital officials to field test new emergency response practices that Salem Health adopted based on information and lessons from the Las Vegas and Pulse nightclub mass shootings.
"We may not do a full-scale exercise at this scope every day, but there are not many days that go by that we're not doing something to improve our emergency response to those events we know can happen here," said Wayne McFarlin, Salem Health's emergency preparedness administrator.
One of the biggest changes in Salem Health's emergency response plan from before the Las Vegas shooting "is a greater coordination and synchronization of unit plans," said McFarlin.
Read the full Statesman Journal article here
Photo: ANNA REED / Statesman Journal