Memorial Manor holds practice drill in case of real crisis

Published 4:21 pm Friday, June 22, 2018

Thursday morning, members of Memorial Manor could be seen being wheeled out, tagged and triaged. However, no actual danger was taking place. Memorial Hospital and Manor was conducting an emergency management drill.

The drill was conducted in several phases. Phase one consisted of a fire drill taking place at the manor. Just after 10 a.m., Memorial Manor called into Bainbridge Public Safety crews to tell them there was a fire. BPS was aware this was only a drill, but responded with lights and sirens as if it were a real emergency.

Fire Chief Doyle Welch served as the Incident Commander, where he learned there was a television fire in a patient’s room that had spread into the hallway.

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The fire not being contained lead to phase two, which was a major disaster drill. Patients and victims from the fire had to be transported throughout the hospital and into the emergency room.

Decatur County EMS also responded to the scene and began phase three, which was a code yellow. This helped the team practice what to do in the event of a mass influx of people in the emergency room. They worked on triaging and tagging patients who were in the most danger.

While EMS and emergency room nurses worked on saving the patients, BPS practiced getting the hose attached to the hospital pump and working on the pressure. They also learned about an alternative entrance that would have been more effective for the amount of hose length they had.

Welch thought this drill was helpful for all parties, because 90 percent of the calls they receive are false alarms, but this helped simulate what they would need to do in the event this took place. They learned how to better communicate with nurses and caretakers, so they could contain the fire with only a fire extinguisher next time.

In the end, Welch thought, “everyone came out a winner in it.”

The drills are instrumental training tools for both hospital and emergency personnel to test their response capabilities to emergencies in real time.