More than 100 responders from across the great state of Alabama are gearing up for their final test tomorrow: the Integrated Capstone Event (ICE), a hands-on and interdisciplinary exercise during which the students respond to a mass casualty incident.

ICE challenges responders in a complex all-hazards environment to include initial call-out, scene size up, rescue, decontamination, pre-hospital treatment and hospital response. The exercise will involve as many as 40 role players portraying survivors, along with human patient simulators and mannequins that could push the casualty toll to 200 or more. The students will train in realistic training venues, including the Noble Training Facility, the only hospital in the country dedicated solely to training.

The exercise is designed as a culminating event in which the students apply the skills they have learned in their respective CDP courses throughout the week.

The responders have spent this week training as part of the first-ever Alabama cohort to train at the center.

The students include emergency managers, physicians, nurses, public health officials and emergency medical technicians from more than 35 cities and towns across the state. The responders are taking one of three courses, depending on their profession.

In the Healthcare Leadership for All-Hazards Incidents, the responders learn more about the decision making during an all-hazards disaster involving mass casualties, skills that include communicating using the Incident Command System and evaluating medical supply management and distribution, as well as communicating with the media and the public.

In the Hospital Emergency Response Training for Mass Casualty Incidents, the responders learn more about the criteria used in assessing patients for medical attention priority, decontaminating patients who have been exposed to a toxic material, and using the proper levels of personal protective equipment in a response to contamination incident.

In the Emergency Medical Operations for CBRNE Incidents, the responders hone their skills in evaluating casualties, providing assistance to survivors while wearing personal protective equipment and tracking and transporting survivors as part of an evacuation operation.

Check back tomorrow to see photos of the Alabama responders at the ICE.