Fire department praises Berkeley High mass casualty drill

Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Fire recruits tend to pretend casualties, acted by students, at a mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School held on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan

A mass casualty incident drill that took place at Berkeley High Wednesday, and in which students participated, was deemed a great success and earned praise from the Berkeley Fire Department. “In many respects we could not have achieved the same level of training without this opportunity and it strengthens the readiness of responders in our community,” BFD wrote to the school after the exercise was finished.

The drill, which began at 1:30 p.m., allowed Berkeley Fire Department recruits and Berkeley High fire-science students to practice responding to a situation in which there were a range of injuries, from cuts and bruises to casualties. One of the school’s student clubs, the Emergency Response Teens (ERT), also participated in the event which simulated the aftermath of a roof collapse in the Donahue Gym.

Thirty drama students took part, several of whom had makeup applied that simulated injuries. They were also asked to “act out their injuries” in an effort to “confuse and challenge” the firefighter recruits.

“The support from your staff and the allocation of time and resources from the high school made it possible for BFD to meet its training objectives in an impactful way,” BFD wrote after the drill. “It also was a great opportunity for BFD to continue to strengthen the relationship with the Berkeley High Fire Science program and the Emergency Response Teens club on campus and those students in these programs, who all participated. This continues to be a program with multi-faceted benefits for everyone involved. The participation from the drama students  as victims was also a great addition to the exercise.”


An ambulance was on campus for the duration of the simulation.

Scroll down to view a selection of photos showing the drill in action.

Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan
Mass casualty drill at Berkeley High School on June 1, 2016. Photo: BUSD/Mark Coplan

See a full set of photographs of the drill taken by BUSD’s Mark Coplan.

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