WEYERS CAVE, Va. (WHSV) - As the school year winds down, students at Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) received hands on training today in a mass casualty emergency training.

“A mass causality scenario is designed to give the most amount or the best care, do the most amount of good for the most amount of people,” Scott Vanderkooi, EMS program director at Blue Ridge Community College said.

When emergencies happen first responders are required to make decisions in a split second.

“Isolated medical skills with breathing difficulty, to trauma. things like traumatic amputation of the foot and then we throw them all into one scenario,” Vanderkooi said.

The paths of EMS and nursing students don’t usually cross paths at BRCC, but in the real world they do, and this simulation allows them to work together for the first time.

“They have to decide not just how to treat one single patient but also how to prioritize these patients and how to make sure these patients gets the care that they need but improve their quality of life and give them the best chance they have,” Vanderkooi said.

EMS and nursing personnel have a knack for empathy and care.

Being able to deliver both in a high intensity situation is something they try to teach through their programs at BRCC.

“We focus on not only do they know the right answer at the right time but can they deliver that answer the right way,” he said.

This is the second year BRCC has held the mass casualty training.

Vanderkooi said the feedback has been positive from the students and community partners.

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