Emergency response leaders from SoutheastHEALTH joined more than 110 hospital preparedness professionals from throughout Missouri in a week-long intensive training program at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Ala. The attendees participated in one of three core programs: Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents, Hospital Emergency Response Training for Mass Casualty Incidents and Emergency Medical Operations for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Incidents. The training culminated Friday, Oct. 23, in a simulated catastrophic accident where all attending disciplines could engage in response, simultaneously.
Attending from Southeast were Blaine Gotto, Environmental Safety Specialist, Lori Merritt, Nurse Manager, Emergency Services, and Charles Wilson, Security IT Tech.
Gotto said the training provided a “unique chance to see firsthand the many different parts that are essential for an effective emergency response. The simulated catastrophic accident allowed for a more realistic experience than would be feasible in most disaster drills. The training was an excellent educational opportunity and will be used to further improve Emergency Preparedness efforts at SoutheastHEALTH.”
The training took place at the Noble Training Facility — the only hospital in the nation dedicated solely to training. The facility includes an emergency department, emergency operations center, intensive care unit, isolation wards and other facilities and equipment typically found in a hospital. The responders train as if they were staff members in the facility to develop the skills needed to respond to a patient surge. The culminating exercise adds additional complicating factors, such as contamination.
Missouri’s hospitals have invested in improved readiness for more than a decade. SoutheastHEALTH recently participated in a state and regional communications drill, a hospital-wide evacuation drill and a mass casualty incident drill in cooperation with Cape County Emergency Management and the Regional Healthcare Coalition. Southeast has also provided an Active Violent Intruder Training with involvement from the Cape Girardeau Police Department and a training focused on Incident Command for key hospital leadership.