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story.lead_photo.caption Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista NAME NEEDED, left, works with NAME NEEDED to carry a pair of simulated patients to the treatment area. Capt. Leon Lieutard, background, surveys the scene.

Firefighters got a chance to practice triage last week.

Capt. Leon Lieutard, the department's EMS coordinator, explained that firefighters were drilling with 20 inflatable mannequins in buses on loan from the Bentonville School District to practice for a mass casualty incident. This particular scenario simulates a two-vehicle collision between buses, he said.

Each mannequin, he said, has a card attached with a set of vital signs. Based on that information, he said, emergency workers have to assign a classification: walking, meaning the victim is mobile and does not need immediate transport; wounded, meaning the victim is hurt but treatment can be delayed; critical, meaning the victim needs immediate stabilization and transport; or deceased. Emergency workers are required to mark each victim with the appropriate color: green, yellow, red or black, respectively.

In a mass casualty incident in Northwest Arkansas, Lieutard said different EMS agencies have agreements to work together, meaning outside agencies will come to help Bella Vistans or the Bella Vista fire department will leave the city to cover an emergency elsewhere.

Agencies also coordinate with hospitals, which have finite capacity.

"We can't take all of these to one hospital," he said.

While this drill uses a vehicle collision scenario, he said, the skills being practiced can be used in any mass casualty incident.

General News on 06/06/2018

Print Headline: Firefighters practice triage

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