NorthBay was Inundated with Mock Victims


NorthBay Medical Center was inundated with mock victims Thursday morning, Nov. 15, during a statewide disaster drill simulating the scenario of a major earthquake rocking the Bay Area.

Every hospital in the county, along with local first responders, including Emergency Medical Services workers and firefighters and hundreds of volunteers, played along in the drill, which began at 9:30 a.m. and stretched into the afternoon, according to Scott Haskins, Solano County project manager.

Fifty-six eighth-graders from the Fairfield Public Safety Academy put their acting skills to the test, as each was assigned a role – and an injury – in the disaster.  Once they were done with some fairly gory makeup, they walked from the Solano Mall parking lot to NorthBay Medical Center where they waited for their cue.

The first wave – about 30 of the students – were instructed to lay on the ground and start moaning about their conditions. NorthBay Emergency Department staff came out to begin “triage” – deciding which patients were “critical,” which were” intermediate” and which were in the lowest level of pain.

Once conditions were determined, hospital staff started transferring their young patients on gurneys and in wheelchairs to various spots in the hospital for further treatment.

“This is a good opportunity for the hospital staff to get the practice we need to be sure that we’re prepared in the event of a real emergency,” said Emergency Physician Dr. Michael Casares.

The second wave of students was followed by a busload of adults, victims of a mock collapse at Solano Mall.

Two patients were airlifted as part of the exercise, including Rebecca Hernandez of Vacaville, who said her character was crushed when a tree limb fell on her. “I’m excited to be able to participate in this event, I thought it would be really good experience.”

“This is great training for our staff,” said Heather Venezio, Trauma Program director. “We deal with trauma every day, but fortunately not on this level. This helps us identify what we need to do to make sure we’re prepared in case anything like this does happen.”