Crucial lessons learned from mass casualty drill at Centennial College

Click to play video 'Crucial lessons learned from mass casualty drill at Centennial College' Crucial lessons learned from mass casualty drill at Centennial College
WATCH ABOVE: Colleges and universities teamed up for a large-scale emergency response simulation with more than 650 participants. Shallima Maharaj was there as the mock disaster unfolded – Feb 26, 2019

Centennial College‘s Morningside campus played host to an emergency drill designed to take students beyond a snapshot of reality and right into the thick of it.

The school has performed well over a dozen similar scenarios over the years. This one was an explosion at an apartment building.

More than 650 people participated. The event is a collaboration between Centennial College, George Brown College, Ryerson University and the University of Toronto.

It featured students from multiple disciplines: nursing, fire fighting, paramedics, and policing.

READ MORE: An in-depth look at how Toronto’s paramedics work to save victims of gun violence, trauma

Participants also included volunteer physicians, nurses, respiratory technologists, pharmacists and social work staff from several hospitals.

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They include Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Scarborough General, Lakeridge Health, Michael Garron Hospital, the University Health Network and St. Michael’s Hospital.

The college campus served as both ground zero and a live hospital.

“Centennial City has been set up for disaster,” explained Wendy Kubasik, dean of Centennial College’s School of Community and Health Studies.

READ MORE: St. Michael’s Hospital’s trauma team shows why seconds count for Toronto’s victims of violence

“The apartment actually had a long-term care centre and a daycare, so there’s a large number of displaced residents as well and we’re taking care of all of them.”

The population of Centennial City is about 250,000.

Experienced first responders, including Toronto police officers, added to the realism of the disaster demo.

“We have numerous professionals who are actually testing their Code Orange responses to a disaster … (which is) critical within the city of Toronto where we know we had multiple challenges due to the Danforth shooting and the van attack on Yonge Street,” said Kubasik.