Leadership Profile

What's Happening at Cedar Crest College

Cedar Crest College and DeSales University Partner for Disaster Simulation

Disaster Drill
(Right) Cedar Crest College EMS Captain Kimi Lippincott assists at the "disaster scene."

Approximately 60 nursing students from Cedar Crest College and DeSales University participated in an emergency response training exercise on October 8 on the DeSales campus. Joining the nursing students were members of the Cedar Crest EMS (CCC EMS), DeSales Emergency Medical Services (DSU EMS), DeSales University Police and members of the local community emergency medical services. More than 80 people participated in the event.

The two-hour training exercise provided participants with the full drama of an emergency situation following a tornado. Participants conducted themselves in the same way that emergency systems do in an actual situation. This included prioritizing care and transporting victims. CCC EMS, as well as DeSales University Police and DSU EMS, helped to manage the scene. In addition to providing health care on the scene, nursing students played the role of victims.

Cedar Crest participants said the simulation was an eye-opening experience.
“A disaster simulation helps student nurses understand the importance of the nurse’s role during a mass casualty incident. It gives students the opportunity to witness the human response to disaster and the chance to prioritize and provide care to victims,” said Sandra Leh, Ph.D., assistant professor of nursing at Cedar Crest.

“This disaster drill was a great opportunity to practice triage skills and emergency care for the victims. Although no one could really understand the impact of a true disaster, this drill offered a significant insight into the importance of preparation for disasters,” said senior nursing student Tami Laughlin.

“This was not only a learning experience for the nursing students, but for our EMT’s, police and college community, too,” said CCC EMS Captain Kimi Lippincott. “When disasters like this happen it’s always chaos, but with practice and planning it can be controlled chaos. Having a plan and practicing it like this can really change the outcome, and the goal is to save as many lives as possible.”

Although the tornado simulation drill has been held in the past, it has doubled in size and is now a large mass casualty incident. This is because DeSales and Cedar Crest have joined forces for this year’s event.

“It’s a good partnership between the two schools,” said Mary Brinker, simulation lab coordinator at DeSales. “The mindset behind it is so the students can learn from each other and develop rapport with each other because they’ll have to communicate with each other when they’re out there working. Not to mention, it gives them all a chance to drill. It keeps everyone up on their skills. Everyone can draw from that experience.”