Trinity County Emergency Services

Multiple Casualty Incident – Disaster Exercise




Funded by a grant from the California Department of Public Health’s Hospital Preparedness Program


Conducted by Absolute Safety Training, Inc.


Participating Agencies:

Trinity Hospital

Weaverville Volunteer Fire Department

Douglas City Volunteer Fire Department

Junction City Volunteer Fire Department

Coffee Creek Volunteer Fire Department

Lewiston Volunteer Fire Department

California Highway Patrol

Trinity County Sheriff’s Office

Trinity County Life Support

Trinity County OES


USFS Engines

Weaverville School Bus Drivers

Trinity Journal


“Patients” were members of the Trinity High School Junior Class, THS Athletic Director, Weaverville School Bus Driver


Participants were provided breakfast snacks, coffee and lunch from Suzie’s Bakery and Starbucks


Douglas City Garage assisted with placement and removal of an old Shasta College Bus


The scenario was a simulated school bus accident with 25 victims


Exercise objectives


q       Evaluate the capability to implement the Incident Command System


q       Assess the ability to establish and maintain multi-agency and

multi-jurisdictional communications


q       Examine the ability to provide pre-hospital emergency medical care response to a multi-casualty incident


q       Assess the capability of the local hospital to provide treatment during the patient surge associated with a multi-casualty incident


q       Assess local capabilities in surge disaster supplies


The exercise was held at Lowden Park, at the old CDF Fire Station, soon to house Trinity County Life Support. 


“Patients” received moulage (blood and injury simulation), and acting tips by Absolute Safety Training personnel.  They were then staged on the bus and the scene set for the exercise. 


Emergency services were paged out and arrived on scene.  Requests were made for additional resources, hospital notification given, and the process of triage (rapid sorting of patients based on severity of injury) was begun by initial agencies.  As more help arrived from surrounding fire departments and other agencies, patients were extricated from the bus and moved to treatment areas.  Transport of patients was real time for Trinity Hospital, and simulated for those destined for Redding hospitals. 


At Trinity Hospital, staff implemented their Emergency Operations Plan.  Calls were made to bring in more nurses, doctors, technicians and clerical staff.  Trinity Hospital received, triaged and treated twelve patients from this incident, two were “critical” requiring life-saving stabilization measures and transfer out.  Ten were ‘walking wounded’. 


Two school bus drivers participated in this exercise.  An uninvolved school bus was utilized to transport a large number of patients to Trinity Hospital.  Non-emergency agencies willing to practice for this kind of incident was invaluable. 


Trinity Journal responded as they would for any large incident, and were part of the simulation.


Trinity High School took home some organizational ideas for their disaster planning.


The agencies involved gained hands-on experience on triage, extricating, moving, treating and organizing transport for a large and initially overwhelming number of patients.  


Trinity County pre-hospital agencies were praised highly for their ability to work side by side and for having interoperable communications in place.  Patient care at the scene was called “phenomenal”.  Trinity Hospital’s surge and care for multiple patients was well-managed and effective.  Overall, the exercise was a tremendous learning experience for all involved.