Disaster Drill Scheduled for June 25 at Hendersonville Medical Centerhttp://tristarhendersonville.com/
June 05, 2008
Officials at Hendersonville Medical Center are working with Hendersonville Police Department, Hendersonville Fire Department, Sumner County EMS and Sumner County EMA to conduct a disaster drill later this month. The drill will mock a situation where a gunman has come into the hospital, injured employees and taken others hostage.
The participating organizations practice potential situations regularly to ensure they are prepared in the event of an emergency. Often, these agencies perform these drills independently or with like-agencies. While all these groups have worked together on drills before, it has been several years since the last city-wide drill. Additionally, this will be the first exercise of this caliber the organizations have worked on together.
“While we certainly hope an event of this magnitude never happens in Hendersonville or anywhere else, training for such an event is an important part of ensuring that the hospital operates as effectively and as efficiently as we can when a real emergency happens,” said Regina Bartlett, Chief Executive Officer at Hendersonville Medical Center. “Working with local police, fire and emergency personnel helps guarantee that our collective response to any emergency is as cohesive and as coordinated as possible.”
During the drill, volunteers will act as victims, some of whom have been shot or otherwise injured. Every agency’s disaster policies will be implemented.
“We have all plans to make the drill as realistic as possible,” Bartlett said. “There will actually be a person who comes into the hospital and takes employees hostage. Volunteers will be professionally made up to look like shooting victims. All our disaster plans and policies will be in effect, including the total lockdown of our facility.”
While the hospital anticipates no disruption to its regular services, Bartlett cautions that it is imperative that local residents are aware of the drill in advance.
“Every attempt will be made to minimize patient care disruptions, but hospital lockdown will be implemented as well as our mass casualty plan,” Bartlett continued. “You can expect to see police, fire and emergency vehicles and personnel, including the local SWAT team, at the hospital, and we want to avoid upsetting people who may perceive it as a very real situation.
“We look forward to a great learning event which will test our ability as a hospital, integrating with our community resources, to deal with a very stressful situation.”
Hendersonville Medical Center participated in a state-wide disaster drill for hospitals in April, imitating a pandemic flu outbreak, but this event is coordinated only within the city of Hendersonville.
The shooter/hostage drill is scheduled for Wednesday, June 25, from 8am – noon at Hendersonville Medical Center.
Hendersonville Medical Center, part of the TriStar Health System, is a 110-bed community-based medical center with comprehensive medical and surgical programs including Obstetrics, Cardiology, Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery services. Fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Hendersonville Medical Center remains the only Accredited Chest Pain Center in Sumner County. For more information about the services offered and health plans accepted by Hendersonville Medical Center or TriStar Health System, call MedLine at 342-1919, toll-free outside of Nashville at 1-800-242-5662, or visit the website at TriStarHealth.com