Local emergency response agencies were busy on Feb. 6 and 7 as they actively participated in the statewide functional exercise known as Icy Hot. These agencies were from Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan counties.
This exercise focuses on a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) with burn and pediatric patients and is intended to enhance coordination, communication, and response capabilities among Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and hospitals.
Key highlights of the Feb. 6 exercise were activating and responding to a no-notice burn mass casualty incident, coordinating and communicating with all relevant partners to ensure a unified response, and conducting scene triage while efficiently distributing burn patients, including pediatrics. Additionally, appropriate open burn-capable beds were identified and patient movement was supported.
For the Feb. 7 exercise, appropriate burn patient care, including pediatrics, at a non-burn center was provided. Patient movement consideration and priorities for seamless transitions was also identified, while deep contingency strategies to maintain the highest level of patient care during surge conditions was utilized.
The teams also took time to explore the activation of Crisis Standards of Care Concept of Operations, demonstrating their preparedness to handle the more complex emergency situations.
The coalition partners were Castleview Hospital, Moab Regional Hospital, San Juan Health, San Juan Public Health Department, Blue Mountain Hospital, Emery Medical, and Carbon, Emery, Grand, and San Juan County Emergency Managers and Medical Services.
“We commend the collaborative efforts of Carbon, Emery, Grand, and San Juan counties during the ‘Icy Hot’ exercise,” said Zack Wise, Emergency Preparedness Planner for the Southeast Utah Health Department. “These scenarios allow our emergency response teams to refine their skills and strengthen coordination, ensuring the highest level of care during challenging situations.”