Manchester, KY: More than 150 emergency management personnel, volunteers and hospital staff took part in a mock disaster drill on 13th April 2016. The drill was to test whether Emergency Department doctors, nurses and other staff were ready for a real calamity in Clay County.
The drill, which was staged by the Clay County Emergency Management in collaboration with the University of Tennessee, focused on response plans for an actual crisis, which could trigger a sudden flood of patients who are injured or suffering from an unexpected disaster.
Normal Emergency Department (ED) operations were not affected by the drill. Directors of the exercise had the authority to cancel the drill at any time if they believed it was interfering with patient care needs in the hospital.
The scenario for the April 13th
drill was a flooding at Red Bird Mission. During the drill, mock patients were transferred by ambulances to the Manchester Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department in Manchester, Clay County. Approximately 15 volunteers, playing roles as patients, were involved in the exercise.
More than a dozen hospital departments participated in the drill, including the emergency department, surgery, med-surg, radiology, OB, patient access, security and marketing.
Taking steps to organize a plan of action is crucial when responding to these situations. Cooperation within the community proves to be the most effective means of preventing an event from escalating into discord and panic. This drill not only created greater awareness amongst the various agencies/facilities involved, but also helped them update their plan to create a safer, more prepared environment.
*published in the Manchester Enterprise