One of the first victims arrives at St. John's Mercy Hospital during a disaster drill. 


For almost 10 years, Missouri Baptist Hospital and St. John's Mercy Hospital, both located near St. Louis, had worked toward developing their own disaster programs, when a tornado ripped through the area sending nearly 200 casualties to both hospitals. Both put their disaster plans into place, and while only three patients died, it was realized that the police, firemen and civil defense workers were better equipped to take full charge of the disaster drill with the hospitals taking charge as patients came in.

The new plan was tested on Sept. 16, 1967, pictured here, with nearly 250 "patients" participating in "Operation Disaster Drill." The simulated drill transported patients by helicopters, ambulances and trucks to five hospitals. Within the hour, all patients were distributed, unloaded, diagnosed and sorted, and simulated treatment had started.


Detailed information is obtained from each disaster victim after injuries are diagnosed.



1967 is the first time that helicopters are used as an integral part of the St. Louis County area disaster program.



Bandages are stained red to help create a more realistic setting during an emergency department diagnosis test at Missouri Baptist Hospital. 



Local police department and state highway patrol participate in the disaster drill.