State, and Local First Responders Join ECPI University for Mass Casualty Disaster Response Simulation

Northern Virginia Campus Drill Exemplifies Value of Integrated Education

For the third time, approximately 150 ECPI University students and twenty-five criminal justice first responders teamed up this fall to simulate a mass casualty event at the Northern Virginia campus. Criminal Justice, Nursing, Surgical Technology, and Radiography students engaged in a fusion-based response event. The learning objectives and overall design of the simulation included intentionally overwhelming first responders with after-action debriefings conducted by each individual unit. 

Criminal Justice students were led in their response by in-field experts from community partners, including the Prince William County Police Department (incident command, CSI, and arrest team), Fairfax County Police Department (incident command and analysis of charges to file with the Commonwealth’s Attorney), Manassas City Police Department (witness interviews and hostage negotiation), Virginia State Police (9-1-1 call response and perimeter) and Montgomery County, Maryland Fire and Rescue. Criminal Justice students were also assisted by Northern Virginia campus faculty in CSI (Professor Geoff Weidner), Interrogations (Professor Keith Barclay), Incident Command (Professor Taber) and Legal Opinion (Professor Daniel McKenna). 

Assisting in triage and emergency care were nursing students supported by faculty members, including Simulation Coordinator Courtney King who applied her expert artistry via moulage, creating true-to-life wounds, fractures and other bodily damage on volunteer victims. In-field communication protocols were executed to coordinate with a simulated hospital on the campus involving a radiology department, staffed by Radiography students and faculty and an emergency room staffed by students and faculty from the Surgical Technology program

“Everyone involved did a phenomenal job planning this event,” says Criminal Justice Dean Ife Alexander-Caines. “This is precisely what we want to see in education. In the real world, first responders will be working alongside EMTs. The divisions between degree programs do not exist when scenarios occur because we have to work together to save lives or solve problems.”

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