VIDEO: Mock Patients Airlifted to Maui as Part of RIMPAC

July 20, 2012, 4:53 PM HST · Updated July 20, 5:14 PM
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Maui Memorial Medical Center Emergency Department Physician Dr. Randy Niklason treats “mock-patient,” MMMC ED Nurse Kacy Takamori as part of the RIMPAC exercise on Maui. Photo courtesy, MMMC.

By Wendy Osher

Mock patients were airlifted to Maui Memorial Medical Center today as part of the international RIMPAC disaster response training exercises being conducted in Hawai’i.

The disaster response drill is jointly managed by Healthcare Association of Hawai’i and Tripler Army Medical Center.

This is the first time that US hospitals have participated in RIMPAC, and MMMC was the only neighbor island hospital to be a part of the drill.

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The exercise involved the US Navy Seahawk helicopter transport of four mock patients from ‘Oahu to Maui.

Upon landing at the MMMC helipad, the “patients” were taken to the MMMC Emergency Department where doctors and staff were standing by to treat them for their simulated injuries.

“We were excited to be a part of RIMPAC and this drill,” said Wesley Lo, Maui Region Chief Executive Officer. “Our team consisted of many departments working collaboratively to insure that it went off smoothly.”

Under the mock scenario, response crews assisted in the aftermath of a hypothetical 9.0 Chilean earthquake that generated a massive tsunami, damaging coastal infrastructure with injuries and loss of life.

The RIMPAC exercises take place every two years in Hawaiian waters and includes the participation of 22 nations who use the drills to refine joint operations.

Supporting joint nation maritime forces participate in the exercise to refine ways of reduce human suffering and assist with short-term recovery.

Hospitals across the state participated in the RIMPAC disaster scenario exercises with helicopter landings, patient transport, and moulage (mock injuries molded from rubber or latex). Simulated casualty care operations involved the use of the Maui Memorial Medical Center helipad and hospital facilities. Photo courtesy MMMC.

Military Seahawk helicopters landed at the helipad of Maui Memorial Medical Center as part of the 2012 RIMPAC exercises in Hawai’i. Photo courtesy MMMC.

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