Emergency Disaster Preparedness at Deckerville Community Hospital

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A mock disaster drill was held on Thursday, October 15, staged by the Deckerville Community Hospital and coordinated with and involving dozens of participants from the Village of Deckerville, the Deckerville Fire Department, Sanilac EMS, the Deckerville Police Department, Deckerville Community Schools and community members.
The emergency disaster preparedness drill commenced at approximately 12:27 p.m. Following radio contact with EMS on scene reporting a bus accident resulting in multiple injuries the hospital initiated its Emergency Disaster Protocol. Adult and teenage actors were guided by a number of professionals. They included disaster management, emergency medical services, fire protection and law enforcement, along with medical/nursing staff from Deckerville Community Hospital.
The first victim arrived by ambulance at 12:42 p.m., with the second approximately five minutes later. Both patients were “Priority 1” patients with significant injuries. Eight more patients followed including four “Priority 2” and four “Priority 3” patients.
Deckerville Community Hospital’s CEO, David L West said “We need to be able to respond to different events, whether large or small scale. A large event involving eight or more victims isn’t something we experience every day, so we go through this exercise to make sure we’re ready.”
Furthermore he concluded, “The main message to the public is that disasters can happen anywhere and at any time. We need to be prepared as a hospital to handle any potential surge in patients.
Aside from natural catastrophes, West said area disasters could range from large fires to industrial farming accidents.
Jean Meldrum of Deckerville attended the event as a grandparent of Austin Hooper, one of the student volunteer victims.
“This event was a wonderful opportunity to watch the professionals at Deckerville Hospital care for frightened and traumatized students,” Meldrum said. “I was impressed with their professionalism and compassion.”
Keith Davidson, MSN, NP-C for the Deckerville Main Street Clinic and Captain in the National Guard said, “I thought the training provided the hospital and clinic staff members a realistic view of the processes and challenges that would be faced in the event of a real mass casualty event. The training was well organized and was the equal of similar training I have gone through in the Army National Guard.”
Registered Nurse and EMT-P, Laura Burton said “It was a collaboration of organization that you necessarily wouldn’t expect from a small rural hospital.”

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