This story is from UCLA Today, a discontinued print and web publication.

Rapid response


UCLA Today

What if a utility explosion in Pauley Pavilion caused mass hysteria among spectators and a crowd to stampede? Two departments, Athletics and Recreation, and UCLA personnel in emergency services, the medical center and the Neuropsychiatric Hospital found out June 4 when they put emergency plans and response procedures into action during a campuswide disaster drill.

To add realism, about 35 volunteers from the Athletics Department play-acted injuries that “ran the gamut from abrasions and lacerations to bone fractures, extreme agitation and critical injuries from being crushed,” said Ryan Burgess, the hospital’s emergency department manager.

The drill further tested communication systems to ensure accurate and timely reporting of vital information from the scene at Pauley to emergency medical personnel.

“As a result, some patients were treated at the scene while others were quickly transported to the hospital for critical treatment,” said Mike Dowling, assis-tant director of Athletics. “We saw this as a real opportunity to familiarize our athletics and Pauley Pavilion staff with emergency procedures and internal lines of communication,” Dowling said.

Participants also set up vital communication links with other area hospitals that would accept patients during a mass casualty, as well as with the Los Angeles Fire Department, University of California police, student health, traffic control and media relations officers at the hospital and with the Office of Media Relations.

“We were able to identify critical medical supplies and equipment necessary for a mass-casualty event, mobilize physicians and other critical caregivers and determine surge capacity during disaster conditions,” said drill coordinator Victor Kennedy, the medical center’s director of safety and security.

“This disaster drill went a long way in helping the campus be better prepared should a mass casualty strike,” Kennedy said.

Media Contact