Tacoma firefighters hone skills during emergency drill

Tacoma firefighters have to be prepared for all kinds of emergencies, including mass causality incidents.

According to Tacoma Fire Department officials, when firefighters arrive on-scene of an incident that has multiple patients, or more patients than emergency medical service resources, they will declare a mass causality incident and begin a well-coordinated flow of events, including triage (determining the priority of patients based on the severity of their condition), treatment and transport.

Firefighters honed their mass causality incident skills Monday during a multi-company drill that recreated the aftermath of a car explosion that ripped though several vehicles, killing four people, injuring seven others, and trapping three patients so as to require specialized stabilization and extrication. Crews practiced triage, treatment and transport during the exercise in order to be better prepared for a similar mass causality incident in the future.