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Gardaí in Cork carry out simulated training exercise involving 15 people in emergency department

Gardaí from Cork took part in the exercise at the ASSERT Centre in UCC today.

Gardaí train during a Critical Incident Simulation Exercise in a simulated hospital emergency department in UCC
Gardaí train during a Critical Incident Simulation Exercise in a simulated hospital emergency department in UCC
Image: Gerard McCarthy

GARDAÍ HAVE CONDUCTED a critical incident exercise in a simulated emergency department this afternoon to test how the force deals with unexpected situations.

Gardaí from Cork took part in the exercise at the ASSERT Centre, a state-of-the-art simulation facility based at University College Cork.

The exercise simulated a busy emergency department waiting room, and saw actors play the parts of intoxicated young men, parents with a sick baby, other members of the public, and a clerical worker at the hospital desk.

Gardaí were required to maintain the order and public safety of more than 15 patients and staff, in a scenario involving threatening behaviour, intoxication, illness and injury.

Sergeant Peter Murphy said that the project was important to strengthen the force’s operational capabilities and the capacities of the organisation.

“The opportunity to work closely alongside the dynamic team at ASSERT Centre UCC provides a unique insight into the world of immersive simulation training and the ability to focus on specific learning outcomes,” he said.

CRITICAL INCIDENT SIMULATION UCC.jpg Actors role play during a Critical Incident Simulation Exercise for gardaí at UCC today Source: Gerard McCarthy

In the scenario, one of the intoxicated men had a bleeding head injury, and his friends attempted to have him seen first while they fell around the waiting room.

The situation escalated as the parents with a sick baby asked to be seen next, while other patients attempted to be seen.

The actors playing members of the public also expressed increasing frustration with the intoxicated students, and began filming the situation before another patient collapsed.

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The exercise tested communication methods of gardaí, their response to a rapidly escalating critical situation, their ability to understand the risks of such a situation, and how they prioritised their actions.

The simulation was based on training given to healthcare providers and aimed to build collaboration between sectors by sharing the resources and expertise between them.

The ASSERT Centre’s Research & Education Director Pat Henn welcomed the facility’s hosting of the training exercises.

Henn added he was “delighted” that the centre had collaborated with gardaí, saying the project showcased the facility and would achieve excellent results.

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