Disaster drill at Towson University prepares nurses for real world emergencies

TOWSON, Md. - There is shrapnel in a leg, blood splattered, and glass in someone's head.

It's the chaotic scene that described the Boston Marathon bombings, 9/11 and other disasters that sent emergency responders into action. 

Fortunately, on Friday, the shrapnel was painted on and blood was corn syrup and a room full of screaming patients were all just acting. 

“I'm going to be yelling out where's Larry.  I can't breathe anymore.  I'm going to act like I have an asthma attack," said Neely McGinty, a student actor.    

Act is the key word.  The make-up is called moulage, a mock injury.  About 200 students were dressed for what could be real life.

"You need to have the multiple people pulling on you and asking for attention and being able to prioritize," said Amy Chasemartin, director of moulage.    

The victims gave student nurses a run for their money.  The scenario started with a plane crash at Unitas Stadium.  Thousands are injured.  Local hospitals are at capacity.  The details aren't so far-fetched for someone who's been through a real-life disaster. 

"You need to train the way you fight and fight the way you train," said Dan Linskey, former Superintendent in Chief of the Boston Police Dept. 

Linskey was on foot patrol when two bombs exploded at the marathon finish line of the Boston Marathon.

"This training that they do should a crisis come to their door will save lives.  There were lives saved on Boylston Street due to the preparedness and the training that we did previously to the marathon," said Linskey.   

Nursing students saw over 200 patients, developing skills, they hope they never have to use.  But if they do, it could save precious minutes and lives. 

"It's easy to cut the training program because sometimes it costs money.  It's the best money you can ever spend," said Linskey.    

Linskey thinks nothing could have prevented the bombings in Boston.  He hopes the millions of people who stand along the route are the eyes and ears for officers should there be another attack.

Linskey will be there cheering on his wife, who will run her first marathon.

It is the 6th year for Towson University to organize a disaster drill.

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