ICE Merges Four Courses in Mass Casualty Response

ICE Merges Four Courses in Mass Casualty Response

Article May 19, 2013

More than 160 students, ranging from hazardous materials workers and healthcare to law enforcement and emergency management, trained together during the Center for Domestic Preparedness’ (CDP) latest Integrated Capstone Event (ICE). Four courses merged as a scenario simulating a mass casualty event unfolding.

The scenario involved a busy shopping center (in Noble City) possibly affected by biological and chemical substances. To make matters worse, a stadium bleacher collapse in the simulated city causes a chemical explosion, creating life-threatening injuries and panic among participants.

Hundreds were injured, some severe, and required students to activate the hospital's EOC and standby by for multiple patients from the incident. The hospital also activated its Hospital Emergency Response Team to decontaminate the injured arriving at the Noble Training Facility (NTF) for care. The NTF is the only hospital in the nation solely dedicated to training healthcare professionals for mass casualty response. Two healthcare courses, Hospital Emergency Response Training (HERT) and Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents (HCL) joined together in response to the unfolding event.

ICE training integrates courses and simulates a multi-disciplined response. Each scenario focuses on the foundations of CDP training—incident management, mass casualty response, and emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist act. The ICE is a unique training approach in which students from the various courses work together in a single end-of-course exercise. ICE events may include students from up to ten different disciplines—ranging from law enforcement to healthcare. The students interact, communicate, and respond to a full-impact mass casualty incident.

A few miles away in the fictitious Noble City, the Hazard Assessment and Response Management (HARM) course and Technical Emergency Response Training (TERT) course, were busy assessing the scene, surveying for contaminants, and applying mass casualty triage for the many survivors affected by the stadium collapse and subsequent explosion. Hazardous materials technicians were inside the shopping center surveying for possible biological and chemical substances (the CDP used the Chemical, Ordnance, Biological, and Radiological (COBRA) training facility for this portion of the scenario). The COBRA is the only place in the nation where civilian emergency responders can train in an actual nerve agent or biologically hazardous environment.

More than 50 role players were used as survivors during the ICE, adding to the realism of the event, in what feels like a very real scenario. For additional photos and information, visit the CDP's Facebook page.

The CDP is located in Anniston, Ala., and training for state, local, and tribal responders is fully funded by the Department of Homeland Security. For more information about CDP training, visit or call 866/213-9553.

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