First responders and Tennova’s Healthcare-Clarksville capabilities and procedures were put to the test Feb. 29.  

The hospital played host to a critical incident exercise with area police, fire and emergency medical services.

It was the first local combined joint exercise in recent memory, which brought all the players together at one time for a real-world response in an exercise environment.  

The exercise kicked off with an announcement through the dispatch center about an armed intruder inside of the hospital, which escalated into shots fired with numerous injuries. The role players added to the chaotic environment with realistic injuries, visual and audible sounds, which amped up the adrenaline for the participants.

The first responders were taxed physically and mentally as they maneuvered through the exercise scenario working to locate the intruder, as well as treating the injured. Teamwork was a must, and there were glitches either introduced or manifested themselves along the way that had to be worked through. The role players ranged from uninjured to deceased. They were actually carried and transported, depending on their casualty status, to the emergency room for treatment.  

There were evaluators who kept a watchful eye to ensure safety, identify potential improvement areas and keep the exercise moving to induce a stressful environment. Based on preliminary observations, the exercise was deemed a success and provided feedback to first responders and Tennova’s Healthcare-Clarksville.

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