Mass Casualty Simulation Exercise: “Battle of the Bands” at University of Florida

Mass Casualty Simulation Exercise: “Battle of the Bands” at University of Florida

By Roxanne Blanford

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The Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) is a FREE summer academic enrichment and career development program focused on improving access to educational resources for college students who, though interested in working within various health-related industries, may be under-represented in healthcare professions because of various socioeconomic factors.

In June 2017, some 80 students came to the University of Florida to take part in a simulated (yet, highly realistic) mass casualty educational drill.


Chosen as one of four new SHPEP sites in Florida this year, the University of Florida (and other institutions across the U.S.) work with local businesses and public agencies to identify the resources needed to prepare students for career exploration in a number of fields, including dentistry, medicine/healthcare, nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant, and veterinary medicine. For this event, UF coordinated with local fire, rescue, and public safety entities to assist in practicing triage and other medical-related responses.

Contrary to its name, the "Battle of the Bands" event was not about music. It was instead centered on emergency healthcare drills.  On June 21, in the Bartram-Carr Woods area near the UF Academic Health Center, students took part in multiple simulation exercises, guided by elected and appointed officials.


CAE Healthcare provided a CAE Apollo high fidelity patient simulator and traumatic surgical training components from Strategic Operations (STOPS), including IV sleeves, blast trousers, and blood pumping systems.

As part of the exercise, students worked at different stations and were responsible for triaging after a simulated car and backpack bomb. At the Apollo station, the focus was on airway management using jaw thrust, bag-valve-mask, and IV placement skills. With the STOPS components, students drilled on applying tourniquets to stop heavy bleeding. 

Said Tom Pearson, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for research and education at UF Health,

 “We are thrilled to participate in this program and look forward to hosting students passionate about health professions in an extraordinary environment here at UF Health. We have the full range of health professions on a contiguous campus at UF and the best supporting cast in training and practice to lead SHPEP at the University of Florida.”

Prepare clinicians to handle the stress and challenges of traumatic injuries and mass casualty care with hyper-realistic cut suits and task trainers that simulate extreme physical trauma. CAE Healthcare is the worldwide distributor for Strategic Operations (STOPS) Inc. medical products, including the Surgical Cut Suit, EMS/TCCC Cut Suit, 6-in-1 trainer and blast trousers for simulation-based education.