Hospital Emergency Response Training for Mass Casualty Incidents (HERT) is a three- day course designed to provide medical operation guidance to hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS), healthcare facility personnel, and others who may become involved in a mass casualty incident (MCI). The course provides the healthcare emergency receiver with an understanding of the relationship between a Hospital Incident Command System (HICS), a scene Incident Command System (ICS), and other incident management systems used by municipal Emergency Operations Centers (EOC). The course also provides guidance for Hospital Emergency Response Team design, development, and training. This is a hands-on course which culminates with small and large groups practical applications. Therefore, participants must be physically and psychologically fit to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) during the training.

Below are some, but not all, of the critical skill sets learned during this training program:

  • Analyze the need for, composition of, and use of a Hospital Emergency Response Team during an emergency, MCI, or disaster situation.
  • Identify the criteria used for assessing patient medical attention priority using START and JumpSTART.
  • Recognize the step-by-step procedures for ambulatory and nonambulatory decontamination performed in response to an MCI.
  • Select and use the appropriate level of PPE as hospital first receivers in response to a disaster involving patient contamination.
  • Apply the proper techniques for monitoring or surveying patients for chemical, biological, or radiological contamination.
  • Conduct appropriate cut-out and decontamination operations for victims and staff during response to an MCI involving contamination.