Mission accomplished for code orange drill at the MUHC

Montreal, October 24, 2012 – The Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal (the Montreal Agency) and its partners are pleased to announce a positive outcome for its major simulation drill of a multiple-casualty event that took place this morning in Montreal. For this exercise, the Montreal Agency worked with two hospitals of the
McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)—the Montreal Children's Hospital and the Montreal General Hospital—to test the Code Orange protocol.
As per the national civil protection plan, Montreal-region hospitals are responsible for receiving and treating disaster victims. Today's drill therefore had two goals:
  • Test the implementation of the Code Orange protocol at two MUHC sites.
  • Test how the health care network responds to a major emergency and more clearly define the roles of the
    partners responsible for managing mass casualties.
"For almost a year now, we have been preparing for this drill involving almost 200 people overall. Today we can say, 'Mission accomplished!'" stated Mr. Michel Garceau, Regional Emergency Measures Coordinator for the Montreal Agency.
"Just like other major cities around the world, Montreal is not immune to a catastrophe or event that would require the management and treatment of multiple casualties. An exercise like this morning's drill helps us strengthen ties with our partners, enhance existing practices, and ensure that Montreal hospital staff are as prepared as possible to deal with a major event in Montreal," added Dr. Louise Ayotte, Deputy Director General of the Montreal Agency.
The Montreal Agency also took advantage of the drill and the involvement of many partners to film staff members at work to produce a video training tool. This tool will complement existing training provided in all hospital centres throughout the
province. It will also allow staff members involved in executing the Code Orange protocol to enhance their skills so that they are better prepared in the event of a disaster situation.
The drill at a glance
  • This is the first drill of this scale to take place in the network.
  • The drill lasted three hours (8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.).
  • The exercise involved transporting 79 volunteer victims to two Montreal hospitals.
Following the drill, the Montreal Agency will produce an educational tool to enhance the skills of health care workers at Montreal hospitals.
What is a Code Orange?
A Code Orange is an international code used by health care centres to signal a catastrophe or external disaster that requires the mass transportation of casualties to hospitals. Through the simulation drill held today, the Montreal Agency aimed to test how the health care network responds to a major emergency involving multiple victims and to more clearly define the roles of the partners responsible for transporting and receiving casualties.

Partners involved and their roles during the drill
  • Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal: Evaluate the network coordination structure.
  • McGill University Health Centre (MUHC): Receive and treat the wounded (e.g., validate the triage protocol and
    validate the intra-hospital patient transfer process).
  • Urgences-santé: Transport volunteer victims and evaluate the transfer of casualties as ambulances arrive at the
  • Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM): Evaluate crowd control around the site.
  • Société de transport de Montréal (STM): Evaluate the transportation of victims by bus.
  • Canadian Forces: Prepare the volunteer victims (makeup).

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Source: Montreal Agency
To follow the drill live on social networks:
twitter.com/santemontreal (#simulationmtl)
Media contact
Montreal Agency
Caroline Dusablon, Communications Advisor
MUHC Public Affairs