Over the course of a month, the 100-bed hospital in Anniston, Alabama, might overflow with victims of smallpox, mustard gas, dirty bomb explosions, chemical poisoning, mass shootings or natural disasters—all simulated and dropped into a routine hospital setting. As part of the Center for Domestic Preparedness, the Noble Training Facility (NTF) is the only fully operational hospital in the U.S. dedicated to preparing all disciplines of healthcare for mass casualty events caused by weapons of mass destruction and natural disasters.
“We’re a little different from a training college where they are teaching the skills,” says patient simulator specialist Robi Mobley. “When they come to us, they already have the skills, and we throw them into the midst of a catastrophic disaster.” The Noble Training Facility has an emergency room, medical and pediatric ICUs, a pediatric unit, three operating rooms, labor and delivery rooms, a nursery and a collection of patient simulators that includes 12 METImen, five adult HPS and four pediatric HPS simulators.
Often, a facility or region will send a team of physicians, nurses, EMTs and medics to run through a scenario. “In a mass casualty situation, people could be pulled from all aspects of the hospital setting,” Mobley says. “We’ve even had CEOs and CFOs come in.