Evolution of a mass casualty drill design team: A program evaluation


  • Mary E. Moran, PhD https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7130-7892
  • Derek Ballas, DO
  • Nathan Blecker, MD
  • Ashley Sedorovich, MS
  • Shelly Barker, MD
  • Brandon Smith, MD
  • Robin Brown, BSN
  • Richard L. George, MD, MSPH




mass casualty incident, simulation medicine, emergency preparedness, trauma, emergency medicine, multidisciplinary team


Introduction: The number of mass casualty incidents (MCIs) is increasing. While many healthcare systems have not experienced an MCI, the need for preparedness is ever present. The unique challenges of MCI preparedness require the use of simulation, which has been found to be an effective model for training in medical environments.

Objective: To determine common discussion points when a multidisciplinary team designed and implemented in situ MCI simulation drills to enhance our emergency preparedness plan.

Design: This was a retrospective qualitative evaluation of the multidisciplinary mass casualty drill design team’s weekly meeting minutes documents. These documents provided insight into the evolution of a mass casualty drill design team and the advancement of our emergency response plan.

Results: Continuous discussions surrounding resource restraints helped to inform the emergence

of the three themes, which were “Staff,” “Space,” and “Stuff.” These three themes were further broken down into different subthemes, but there was a continued focus on resource scarcity.

Conclusions: Our results indicate the use of an MCI drill design team and in situ simulations assisted in better understanding of how hospital departments struggled with resource scarcity and provided opportunities to strengthen the emergency preparedness response plan. Incorporating a multidisciplinary mass casualty drill design team helped to ensure different perspectives and department needs were acknowledged and addressed through the in situ simulation trainings.


Author Biographies

Mary E. Moran, PhD

Research Program Director—Trauma, Summa Health, Department of Research, Sponsored Programs, and Innovation, Akron, Ohio; Summa Health, Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Akron, Ohio

Derek Ballas, DO

Summa Health, Department of Medical Education, Virtual Care Simulation Lab, Akron, Ohio; Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio

Nathan Blecker, MD

Summa Health, Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Akron, Ohio; Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio

Ashley Sedorovich, MS

Summa Health, Department of Performance Solutions, Akron, Ohio

Shelly Barker, MD

Summa Health, Department of Surgery, Akron, Ohio

Brandon Smith, MD

Summa Health, Department of Surgery, Akron, Ohio

Robin Brown, BSN

Summa, Department of Emergency Preparedness, Akron, Ohio

Richard L. George, MD, MSPH

Summa, Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Akron, Ohio; Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio


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How to Cite

Moran, PhD, M. E., D. Ballas, DO, N. Blecker, MD, A. Sedorovich, MS, S. Barker, MD, B. Smith, MD, R. Brown, BSN, and R. L. George, MD, MSPH. “Evolution of a Mass Casualty Drill Design Team: A Program Evaluation”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 19, no. 4, July 2021, pp. 367-7, doi:10.5055/jem.0542.