Texas Health Care Coalition Leads Mass Casualty Drills to Prepare Communities for an Active Shooter Response
In the world of preparedness and response, there is no room for complacency. The
Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC), a Houston-area health care coalition has partnered with emergency response partners, and regional health care partners to hold over 1,000 mass casualty response trainings, exercises, and drills, saving lives and teaching emergency response to communities across the southeast region of Texas.
Since the school shooting in Uvalde, TX in May 2022, SETRAC has received multiple requests to conduct the mass casualty drill for hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other schools in the region. The training and its supplemental materials equip participants with the lifesaving practices and knowledge needed for a response during a mass casualty event. SETRAC’s training efforts have also expanded from the regional level to provide training in nearby states. For example, the team instructed a session for the Health Center Association of Nebraska, expanding preparedness measures and establishing beneficial emergency response partnerships on an intrastate level.
For the past few years, SETRAC has led mass casualty drills for hospitals, long-term care facilities, and schools across the Southeast region of Texas. SETRAC, a health care coalition (HCC) funded by ASPR's
Hospital Preparedness Program, focuses on providing lifesaving education and information regarding mass trauma preparedness and response. In April 2022, SETRAC led a mass casualty response drill for students and teachers at Tekoa Academy.
The mass casualty response drill simulated a drive-by shooting with six injured students. SETRAC’s team led students and staff through the proper response processes and supplemented the exercise with a school-specific manual they had created for response during an active attack. Participants in the drill learned firsthand how to identify critical patients and administer emergency wound care and first aid. SETRAC involved several health care and emergency response partners such as local emergency medical services (EMS), police officers, fire chiefs, as well as nearby hospital officials, to provide participants with additional awareness to key response stakeholders and their roles in an active response.