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News | Aug. 18, 2022

Citadel Rumble offers proficiency, focuses on safety at Naval Medical Center San Diego

By NMCSD Public Affairs

Medical staff at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) participated in Commander, Naval Installations Command’s (CNIC) annual all hazard exercise Citadel Rumble 2022 with the objective of safely evacuating three simulation mannequins after a simulated earthquake, all while still providing vital medical care in the process, Aug 17.

“Citadel Rumble provides training that improves our personnel’s knowledge and ability to react to potential no-notice disaster events,” said Mr. Christopher Springer, NMCSD’s head of emergency management. “In this part of the country, we are susceptible to earthquakes and wildfires; therefore, we are definitely not immune from unannounced disasters.”

At a Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) patient safety is paramount, and the safe handling of a patient is different during a time of stress and crisis.

“Today’s training opportunity demonstrates that it is not only making sure we know how to evacuate a patient in an emergency situation, but also enables the revelation of any area we need to improve in case we ever need to evacuate actual patients,” explained Lt. j.g. Anna McCarley, NMCSD ICU nurse. “Additionally, it was also an opportunity to see how we do under pressure, to know where the equipment is and to be proficient with transporting a patient on a medical sled.”

The training evolution extended its realism to the maximum extent in the case of the adult simulation mannequins.

“One of the simulated patients was intubated on a transport ventilator, on a continuous drip IV and had an oxygen tank in tow,” described McCarley. “It is essential that we continue to monitor and care for a patient under such emergency conditions just as we would in the ICU under normal circumstances.”

No exercise would be complete without the close supervision of evaluators and key leadership.

“I am extremely proud of the adaptability that the nursing staff demonstrated during the exercise,” said Capt. Mark Thomas, NMCSD director for nursing services. “It is important that we exercise our abilities to provide health care even in unforeseen circumstances and ensure that our warfighters and family members are cared for at all times.”

“There can’t be no such thing as great health care without it first being safe health care,” added McCarley.

NMCSD's mission is to prepare service members to deploy in support of operational forces, deliver high quality healthcare services and shape the future of military medicine through education, training and research. NMCSD employs more than 6,000 active duty military personnel, civilians and contractors in Southern California to provide patients with world-class care anytime, anywhere.
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