Disaster drill held on Butte
A disaster drill was held Saturday, March 24 at the Cottonwood Butte Ski Area.
A group of about 30 first year medical students in the WWAMI program attending classes at Washington State University and the University of Idaho but part of the University of Washington School of Medicine, took part in the drill.
Andrew Schweitzer, a former EMT in the local area, is one of the students and helped set things up. Taking part in the drill were Grangeville Mountain Rescue Unit, Cottonwood Butte Ski Area and Ski Patrol, Snowhaven Ski Patrol, St. Mary’s Hospital and Ambulance, the Cottonwood Police Department and Life Flight Network.
The students spent Friday night at the Ski Area and did some first responder training and then applied that training on Saturday.
The scenario was a plane crashing on the flat just prior to the final drop to the lodge on the ski hill. Approximately half the students made their way up from the bottom to find 12 “victims” with varying degrees and kinds of injuries. It was their job to triage the victims and get them safely transported to the lodge where additional care was done before transporting them out either by ambulance to St. Mary’s Hospital or by Life Flight Helicopter. One of the professors was asked to act as a lightly injured victim who is hysterical and gets in the way of those trying to help more severely injured victims.
For those that were transferred by ambulance to St. Mary’s Hospital, the drill continued there at the emergency room.
The “victim” that was loaded onto the Life Flight helicopter may have been a little disappointed that drill ended once he was loaded on as the helicopter then powered down.
After the main drill was over the students received an additional training session with the crew of the Life Flight helicopter.
All agreed that the drill went very well.

Treating a victim at the site of the "crash"

Getting a patient ready for transport down the hill.

A ski patrol member taking a patient down the hill.

Once at the bottom of the hill the patient is taken into the ski lodge which has been turned into a makeshift emergency room.

The medical students transfer a patient to the lodge.

After the drill was over the students get some training with the Life Flight crew.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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