JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – In Onslow County, first responders are preparing and training for mass casualty events.

Around 250 people participated Thursday in a drill teaching them how to respond and care for a large number of patients coming into the local hospitals at once.

“In this case, an explosion at a crowded fairground, multiple casualties and we try to stress the system to see where the weak points are,” said Trauma Director at Naval Medical Center, Doug Pokorny.

About 50 patients were processed through the hospital, from arrival to emergency rooms until they were discharged.

“Some of them will be wearing a special suit that we call a cut suit, and they’ll actually be operated on, they’ll send them up for imaging, whether that’s X-rays or MRIs,” said Michael Pratt, emergency management specialist with Marine Corps Air Station New River.

Medical professionals work to fine-tune all the details for if and when a mass casualty occurs.

“The military is experts at mass casualty, that’s one of the things we do well,” said Pokorny. “In the actual events such as the 710 rollover last year, it was very important to have all those entities come together and work together.”

Hospital personnel also handled questions and concerns coming from people in the community.

“We’ve got injects for roleplayers that are coming up, they’re presenting his family members because that’s going to happen in a real emergency as well. Family members are going to come looking for their loved ones,” added Pratt. 

Onslow Memorial Hospital also participated in the drill. Onslow County will continue to conduct this training twice each year.