(WBIR, Knoxville) - One of the largest hospital exercises ever conducted in Tennessee took place Wednesday morning.
More than 50 healthcare organizations from Johnson City to Chattanooga saw a surge in patients around 9:30 a.m.
About 1,000 victim actors helped hospitals across the region create a mass casualty bombing scenario.
UT Medical Center, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, Parkwest Medical Center, and East Tennessee Children's Hospital participated in the drill.
At UT Medical Center, 26 victim actors from Halls High School rolled into the trauma center.
"We're seeing shrapnel injuries, debris injuries. We've had several burn patients. We've also received several amputation type injuries," said Jeff Pigg, Safety Coordinator at UT Medical Center.
The goal of the exercise is to test local and regional mass casualty incident plans.
"As you can imagine if something like this were to really happen, dozens and dozens of organization would have to work together very well and would need to communicate with one another very well. So practicing that helps us be prepared to do it," said Katharine Killen from the Knox County Health Department.
After the drill, a review takes place at each location to make any necessary changes.
"The drill kind of helps us with deciding what resources we have available. It helps us know how to triage patients better, so if we are in a real disaster it helps allocate resources to the operating room, the CT scan, the emergency room. It sort of helps set up a simulation for real field triage," said Dr. Christy Lawson at UT Medical Center.
Even the actors from Halls High School learned something from their experience.
"You get to experience what it would be like to be around the healthcare field. You get to see what it would be like if I was in the ER and this disaster happened, what I would see," said Amber Weldon.