DENVER (CBS4)- Emergency responders and hospitals in the Denver metro area were busy taking care of about 200 earthquake victims on Wednesday. Fortunately, it was only a drill.
The simulated disaster was a massive earthquake that struck along the new Madrid fault in Arkansas.
Patients were brought to Centennial Airport on a C-130, assessed and then rushed to area hospitals using ambulances, Black hawk helicopters and medical helicopters.
The airport is a federally-designated evacuation site in case of a real emergency.
“In light of the instances that happened recently in Japan, it becomes even more pertinent because our scenario today is an earthquake in Arkansas, so we are not that far away. It’s really important that we are able to take on health care patients and bring them here to get their care,” said Department of Veterans Affairs spokeswoman Peggy Kearns.
The drill was a big operation. Hundreds of local emergency responders got involved with the exercise. 15 area hospitals took in patients, using 15 ambulances and 10 helicopters.
Hospitals also tested a tracking device that gives patients a bar code with all their information. When they arrive at the hospital, a scanner is used to send the patient information directly to the government agency that is tracking the wounded.
The idea behind the process is to ensure no patients get lost in the system during a disaster.