Two Army Corps Nurses Create Resource For Mass Casualty Events

Dec 13, 2019

Considering recent mass shootings in Pensacola, Santa Clarita, and other places, more and more people are saying it’s not a matter of if the next mass shooting will happen, but when. With this in mind, two Army Corps nurses at Loma Linda University Medical Center Murrieta have created new resources for dealing with mass casualty events. 

John Meyer and John “Lucky” Copeland both served in the Army before becoming nurses in the civilian world.

They currently work at Loma Linda University Medical Center Murrieta, which opened in 2011.

With recent mass shootings in mind, Meyer and Copeland created disaster carts – carts that contain items to use on trauma victims.

Copeland: “Today, due to recent in the last couple years the mindset has changed so what kind of disaster hospitals should be prepared for, so the disaster cart preparation has kind of evolved to be basically more prepared for a mass casualty incident, not necessarily specific to a natural disaster but now to be set up for more disasters like a bridge collapse or a bus goes off the road with a lot of people in it, or these active shooter situations where the new national standard is to be prepared for up to 50 patients within 15 minutes. And so, we had to kind of take a look at what our carts were prepared for and get them in line with what sort of the new national standard is.”

Copeland says the two nurses felt it was necessary to have the nurses at the Murrieta hospital be familiar with treating trauma patients.

Copeland: “It's not a requirement that you have specific trauma training at our hospital because we're not a trauma center, but we felt it was necessary that our nurses have a base knowledge of how to take care of a trauma patient of different types, and as well when we were developing this plan, a lot of the staff were asking about, well what do we do here if there was an active shooter at the hospital. You now, hospitals are soft targets as well where people have done some shootings, so we did the request mostly because of the staff asking about it, we added an active shooter training component to the class, so our class is basically an active shooter, our MCI plan, and a basic trauma course kind of all combined into one.”

Meyer says the possibility of a mass shooting isn’t just theoretical to the two nurses – it’s personal.  

Meyer: “Just because also we have, when we talk about the mass shootings, stuff like that, both Lucky and I have kids that go to school in the community and knowing that we're helping these nurses better be prepared to take care of patients like that, it could potentially - I hate to say it - it could potentially happen at our kids' school, so at the very minimum we want our nurses to be able to provide for those types of patients.”

For more information on the Murrieta hospital and its emergency services, you can visit murrieta.lluh.org.