December 10 Drill in Sussex County Will Allow Hospitals and Emergency Personnel to Practice Emergency Protocols

Staff from four regional hospitals, as well as first responders, will take part in a mass casualty incident (MCI) drill Wednesday, December 10, that will put their skills and knowledge to the test in an effort to ensure readiness and the best possible care for Sussex Countians.

Bayhealth, Beebe Healthcare, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, and Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, will participate in the county-wide drill, which will simulate the bombing of a bus during a major Sussex County festival, resulting in multiple casualties. The public should not be alarmed by increased activity that occurs on this date, primarily between 10 a.m. and noon. 

This drill will evaluate patient management of bombing victims during what is known as a county-wide Level III mass casualty incident. It will also assess the use of the DE-TRAC computer system for patient management, evaluate the management of a bombing scene with many responding agencies, and gauge the impact of this type of scenario on Sussex County hospitals, police, and emergency services communities.

“This is a great opportunity for hospitals, police, EMS, and emergency operations to work together to train and practice how to handle a bombing incident and what unique challenges this would present to all the responders and healthcare agencies,” said Cheryl Littlefield, RN, CHEP, Emergency Management Coordinator for Beebe Healthcare.

Multiple organizations are taking part in the exercise, including:

  • Delaware State Police, Explosive Ordnance Division (EOD), and Aviation Section
  • Sussex County Emergency Medical Services (SCEMS)
  • Local police, EMS, and fire departments
  • Hospitals, including Beebe, Nanticoke, Bayhealth, and Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
  • Lifenet
  • Delaware Technical Community College, Owens Campus, in Georgetown
  • Students from Lakeforest and Polytech high schools
  • Lewes Police Department
  • Rehoboth Beach Police Department
  • Sussex County Emergency Operations Center
  • Delaware Office of Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness Section
  • Georgetown Fire Company

This exercise will include a mock bus bombing in Georgetown. Following the mock bus bombing, another mock bomb threat will be made at Beebe Healthcare’s Medical Center in Lewes.

During the exercise, patients and visitors to all the area hospitals may notice increased activity, including ambulances and helicopters, but all hospitals will remain open during the drill. Care will be provided without interruption.

In addition to the area hospitals, activity will occur at Delaware Technical Community College – Owens Campus in Georgetown. The main parking lot along Seashore Highway will serve as the grounds of the primary event taking place that morning.