Mass Casualty Exercise June 2022 with the 2nd year Cohort of the Advanced Care Program.
In June of this year Portage College’s 2nd year cohort of advanced care paramedics embarked on a valuable new mass casualty exercise, the first of its kind at a post-secondary institution in Alberta.
Although the labs at the college have high-fidelity simulators, the need was identified to consolidate the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program and test those skills in “real to life” simulations, focusing on Air Medical and Critical Care.
Portage’s Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) program uses a blended delivery model so students can study remotely. The goal of our onsite week is to provide valuable, real-time learning opportunities. In order to achieve this, the Portage College pre-hospital care faculty partnered with AHS, local businesses, high school drama students from Mrs. Topola's Drama 10-20-30 class at Edwin Parr Composite School in Athabasca , and a variety of health care professionals.
Students where brought offsite to Colinton, Alberta for the week, where they stayed and worked through a variety of mass casualty simulations and scenarios with live actors. Alberta Health Services (AHS) provided a flight simulator for the exercise, as well as a healthcare professional to help lead the students. AHS provided a different perspective to the students and spoke to real-time education and current EMS operations in Alberta. The simulator consolidated knowledge and skills ACP students have been working towards over the past two years.
“These soon-to-graduate students very much appreciated the chance to ask questions of a real-world potential employer,” says Patrick Breckenridge, Pre-Hospital care instructor, and the key organizer behind the exercise. “We emphasize to our students that quality healthcare requires lifelong learning, and for them to see the level of education they can access had a significant impact.”
Several Colinton community members also stopped by to check out the simulator and were able to learn more about how ongoing education provided by AHS ensures that Alberta’s healthcare providers have high-level up-to-date skills.
Due to the overall success of this exercise, Portage College, in partnership with AHS and other healthcare providers, will be embarking on another mass casualty exercise in 2023. The exercise will further support our educational goals to provide high-quality, hands-on training for Alberta paramedics, and drive recruitment and retention for employers, including AHS.
Portage College would like to thank,
John Sison Air Ambulance Team Lead
Tashminder Narwal Simulation Instructor.
Colinton Community Centre for hosting the event
Colinton Hotel and Bar - Owner Crystal Spence (For Allowing access to her location to run real time scenarios)
Mrs. Topola's Drama 10-20-30 class From Edwin Parr Composite School in Athabasca
Taigan Doenz - Critical Care Paramedic
Nicole Schweer ER-LPN, FPN, CJ & Rhea Schweer
Nancy Tarrant of Nancy T Massage Therapy
Lisa Hyde - Mind Body Spirit Coaching
Lorelei Brideau RN ENC
Erin Acorn RN ENC
Brittany Miller Educator at EPC and her Drama Class from Edwin Parr.
Rob Willick and his trusty quad, Utilizing agricultural equipment for scenarios
For more information about the Paramedicine programs:
Samantha McDonnell, Marketing Specialist
780-623-5654 or email
Jaime Davies, Corporate Communications Manager
780-623-5581 or email