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Nova Southeastern University
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NSU Athletic Training Students Participate in Staged Mass-Casualty Incident Training

Christine Sacramento, an athletic training major at the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, acts as an injured victim in a staged mass-casualty-incident training exercise, held at the Broward Fire Academy on Jun. 5.

Light rain falls upon a massive, smoldering pile of concrete rubble—the remnants of a once-standing parking structure. The sound of helicopters echoes overhead as fire trucks and ambulances arrive on scene. First responders rush to aid frantic victims, many bruised and crying for help.

The chaotic scene looks, sounds, and feels real. But, it’s actually a well-choreographed training exercise.

On Jun. 5, 12 undergraduate students and a faculty member from the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences participated in a staged mass-casualty incident at the Broward Fire Academy, near by NSU’s main campus in Davie. The students posed as “victims” in the training exercise, which included firefighters and paramedics from several Broward County cities.

Prior to the emergency-call dispatch, the students each received specific instructions on how to act during the training, as well as a card listing injuries and health conditions to portray. Some participants even received moulage (faux lacerations and wounds) to enhance the realistic scenario.

“The experience was very bizarre and fun at the same time,” said Fran Imbert, an athletic training major at the college, who volunteered as a victim in the training. “It allowed me to see how the EMTs respond and how quick they work to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

Over the summer, Imbert and her classmates are completing a six-week, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification course at the academy. The hands-on experience builds upon the skills they’ve acquired through their extensive athletic training coursework at NSU.

“The athletic training students are great,” said course instructor Jason Friedman. “In addition to basic training, they have determination, motivation, maturity, and the desire to want to learn.”