On Friday the Medical Emergency Response Team held their yearly Mass Casualty Incident drill in the Interfaith Chapel.

“An MCI is defined as an incident where the number of resources are not enough to handle the amount of patients in the incident so we have to change our tactics from a normal call to make sure we can help all that need to be helped,” MERT Assistant Director for Training Peter Swanson said.

While MERT does hold this drill yearly, this was the first year that the drill included off-campus agencies. The agencies partaking in the drill this year included UR Security, Rural Metro, Rochester Fire Department and Rochester Police Department. Rural Metro is the ambulance service which serves the city of Rochester.

On Friday morning between 50 and 60 volunteers gathered at the Interfaith Chapel. They were each given an index card describing to them the injury they were to simulate in the drill.

The emergency call was then dispatched over the radio to all of the agencies.

“MERT’s response was normal, security was slow because there was an event at the hospital that delayed their response time and everyone else was normal,” Swanson said.

When the drill began, there were some initial problems with communication between the different agencies. Still, everyone in the Chapel was saved within one hour.

“Part of the purpose of the drill was to build a better relationship with all of the agencies,” Swanson said. “We also did this to see how communication works between all the agencies.”

MERT will be taking steps to fix communication problems they observed during the drill.

“I think it was successful because all the outside agencies were able to get the job done,” Director of Operations Daniel Nassau said. “But, it also helped us to recognize the things we need to improve on. We will all be working together in the near future to patch up those holes and better serve the campus.”Jarrett is a member of the class of 2009.



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