Sunday, September 15, 2013

Notes On A Disaster Drill

Participant registration is at the old terminal.  The layout is ideal for our purposes -- we are using what used to be the lobby, the ramp and the departure lounge. We open the doors at 0700. According to the schedule, we have an hour and fifteen minutes to get one hundred and forty-five participants signed in, moulaged, and into the staging area.  The seventy-five college kids who have volunteered to be victims/roleplayers have all registered, gotten their wristbands (the airport will remain open for the entire drill and the TSA will not let anyone onto the field without a wristband, adding another layer of difficulty to an already pretty complicated process), and obediently trundled off to moulage.  Responders from three local fire departments  have signed in but are all still milling around in the lobby.  Finally, in frustration, I hit the "siren" option on my bullhorn, and everyone for fifteen feet jumps out of their skin.

Me:  I need everyone who is already signed in and has a wristband, to go to the staff waiting area NOW.

My sweet, lovely boss:  (sighing) I wish I hadn't let you buy that thing.

Our moulage chief is a retired professor of industrial safety and he is good.  Two drills ago, when they carried one of his burn victims into the ED, the staff initially thought it was the real thing.  He has a cart full of fake blood, latex, theatrical makeup to simulate shock, etc.  I am standing with two faculty members, watching him work his magic.

Me:  I hope nobody faints.

Faculty member:  (grimly)  They're nursing students.  They'd better not.

In one hour and twenty minutes (only five minutes over schedule), the roleplayers are ready for their safety brief.

Me:  This is important and everyone has to hear me.  Do I need a bullhorn?

Students:  No!

A state trooper is assigned to wrangle the roleplayers once they get out on the field.  He is trying to do a count-off and the kids keep mucking it up.

Trooper:  (in frustration)  You're in college!  You ought to be able to count!

Student:  We're not math majors.

At 1500 I stagger through the door and collapse on the sofa.  The spousal unit is working on the computer in the next room.

Me:  Oh man, I'm beat.  I'm not going to do anything but lie here for the rest of the day.

He:  Surprise, surprise.

Me:  Comments from the peanut gallery can be dispensed with.  (Pause)  I could really use a foot rub.

He:  (not moving) I'll bet you could.

More on the drill here.


anniebelle said...

You sound surprised hon.

I got this just the other day -

Me - Baby do you love me?

He - No, (pause) Why?


anniebelle said...

You sound surprised hon!

I got this the other day -

Me - Baby do you love me?

He - No. (pause) Why?


Sam said...

First, a bull horn is always a good idea. Let's you know who is sleeping.
Second, college kids are snarky.
Third, Spousal Unit might have rethought his response...