In September of 2011, the community of Lebanon, New Hampshire simulated a high school chemistry lab explosion that involved four hospitals, the City of Lebanon police and fire departments, Golden Cross Ambulance Service and the entire student and faculty of Lebanon High School. “We wanted to test the emergency and disaster drill plans and the new DCon plan and decontamination equipment,” says Gene Streck, Simulation Tech for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. “The school principal wanted to test the school’s emergency evacuation plan.”
The students, who were unaware that the drill was coming, had to be evacuated across a five-lane state road to a National Guard Armory, while local hospitals triaged the mock casualties amid the bustle of their fully operating emergency rooms. Both human patient actors and three patient simulators, including two iStans and a Pediatric ECS, suffered burns and blast injuries, including blast lung caused by the shock of the explosion. “I personally think that simulation centers will be brought more and more into disaster drill exercises,” says Streck.