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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Canyons’ high school students take part in mock drill

Nov 01, 2022 06:59PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Hillcrest High senior Aiden Reid was slumped in front of a door in a hospital, hearing rounds of bullets echoing from being fired. Semiconscious, he remembered lots of yelling and radio communication.

“I heard people yelling, ‘Get down, get down,” he recalled before he was assisted outside by a SWAT team and medics.

Luckily for Reid, it was a mock shooting drill.

Each year, Intermountain Health Care participates in safety drills to ensure that its caregivers are prepared to respond to a variety of scenarios to ensure the safety of its staff and patients, said Jess Gomez, Intermountain’s media relations director.

“For many of these drills, we work closely with local law enforcement and first responders so that they also have an opportunity to learn and test their preparedness, as well,” he said. “When the opportunity arises, we also include students from area schools to participate in these drills, so they have an opportunity to learn more about safety and what’s involved in keeping our facilities and patients as safe as possible. They have been fantastic to work with and help us add a realistic approach to these drills.”

While this drill was done at Intermountain TOSH or The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Murray, Gomez said Intermountain conducts safety preparedness drills at all of its hospitals and tries to involve the community, when appropriate.

Reid said he was surprised at the realism of the scenario.

“They were firing blanks and noisemaking ammunition and that was really loud. Even with earplugs, it was pretty loud,” he said.

Reid, along with four other Canyons School District high school students, were briefed beforehand and provided an index card, which gave them individual instructions.

He said the injuries varied from his 4-inch gash above his right eyebrow to an eye injury to a neck wound to another, who was fully unconscious. Some victims had bottles of “blood” to spray around them to look like splatter from bullets.

The high school students, most who are enrolled in medical classes and drama, spent about 20 minutes getting their injury and wound make-up done.

“It was really good make-up and being a victim was a cool experience, but it also freaked me out a little with how loud the ammunition was,” he said. “They provided us with mental health services in case something did trigger or something in the activity did harm us. I was very grateful for that.”

Reid volunteered to be part of the scenario.

“I’m glad I got to do this and I’m glad the hospital gets to do it as well. Not only does it train the SWAT on how to handle real-life situations, but it also helps the hospital workers to know what to do as well,” he said.

Once helped outside, Reid was told to put pressure on his wound.

“There was not a lot of after medical care, the focus was more inside and of the evacuation,” he said.

The scenario also gave him a different kind of look into his possible medical future as Reid, who is enrolled in the medical pathways program, hopes to work in pharmacology at a hospital.

As a 4.0 grade-point average student, he is Canyons Technical Education Center’s Health Occupations Student Association president as well as Hillcrest High’s Careers Club vice president.

“It was a good opportunity to go and see TOSH and meet the staff and just give everyone involved a better experience with training in real-life situations,” he said.

While Reid gave his mother a fright, sending her a photo of his injury without explanation—“I feel bad about that”—the service is one he will remember—“I thought this would just be a good opportunity to do some community service because not everyone is up and willing to go volunteer for something like this”— along with a bullet shell casing he picked up as a s