If the Navy Yard shooting happens in our own backyard, how ready is Virginia to handle it?
Just a few miles away from the dc navy yard shooting, Northern Virginia hospitals went on standby, preparing to take in patients if necessary and then the news spread fast.
Bob Mauskapf with the Virginia Department of Health says all six hospital regions in the state communicate when one of them deals with a multi or mass casualty situation and they are ready if the next big one happens here.
"We think of information as currency and we get that out there as quickly as possible," he says.
In Richmond, VCU Medical Center tests its response plan 250 times a month, when two or more shooting victims are brought in at the same time.
Last week it opened an expanded trauma room, allowing it to treat up to 14 patients at once.
"We have the knowledge, we have the training, we have the drills," says Dr. Michel Aboutanos, VCU Chief of Trauma Surgery. "Now we have the space the state-of-the art technology to help us do this and limit the amount of time we need in order to take care of patients."
Emergency responders come together several times a year for drills and look for opportunities like NASCAR races and political campaign stops to practice what they know.
As for Monday's alert, no hospitals in Northern Virginia had to treat navy yard victims. Many of those who were wounded are still recovering at DC's Medstar Washington Hospital.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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