June 26, 2012
KCH & Seneca Resources Corporation Conduct Tabletop Emergency Drill

On Friday, June 15, Kane Community Hospital, an affiliate of UPMC Hamot (KCH) and Seneca Resources Corporation of Brookville came together to conduct a "tabletop" emergency drill based on a scenario of an explosion at a gas drilling site in the Kane Area.  (A tabletop drill does not include any actual victims and no outside resources are actually contacted.)

The drill began with telephone notification to the KCH ER that an explosion had occurred at a natural gas drilling site.  This was followed by the acknowledgment of six incoming accident victims, condition and transport status and ultimately the incoming of six additional walking wounded under non emergency support.  This triggered preparations consisting of calling doctors, nurses, staff and the initiation of a command center to monitor incoming victim needs and follow treatment through the KCH Emergency Department via computer in a conference room.

Per policy, the facility was "locked down".  This means that only necessary foot and vehicle traffic were allowed on the campus during a disaster scenario.  (This does not mean that the public cannot seek medical treatment when the campus is under lockdown.  It merely means that additional precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of the patients, visitors and staff at KCH.)

A center at the St. Callistus Church was set up for families arriving at the hospital and social services manning the site and setting up communications.  (In the event of a real disaster, family and friends would be sent to the church as a meeting place.  Social Workers, Clergy and support staff would be on hand to provide updates on the victims' conditions and spiritual support.  This is done off-campus to provide adequate space and privacy for family members.)

The scenario involved immediate triage of victims.  It was determined that one victim didn't survive, two were being flown by medical helicopter precipitating assistance from the Kane Volunteer Fire Department to set up a second helipad at KCH.  Other victims were treated by KCH physicians and admitted to the hospital or discharged.

An incident of this proportion involves the calling of staff and resources to handle needs of victims while treating the routine flow of patients to the KCH ER, identifying supplies, blood, and any additional equipment and services anticipated.  KCH has a Disaster Plan in place with guidelines concerning staffing, supplies and outside assistance.

The KCH clinics of Dr. Suddle and Dr. Pavlock were also contacted to provide support from doctors and office staff. Drills engage many organizations from the local, county, state and federal levels to unite and carry out tasks.

Exercising these emergency plans is critical for the preparedness of the facility.  It is much better to find a fault in your protocol during an exercise than during an actual emergency.


KCH & Seneca Resources Corporation Conduct Tabletop Emergency Drill

Participating in the drill are seated left to right: Mary Parana, Director of Outpatient Services, Wayne Steele, LPN, EMT-B, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator who planned the drill based on an explosion at a drill site with Seneca Resources team of Adam Hartle, Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Representative, Andy Woodward, EHS Technician, and Teresa Marion, EHS Specialist.  Those standing participated or attended the post drill review and discussion that allowed the staff of KCH and Seneca Resources to better understand the kinds of common injuries or potential accidents at a drill site.   It was deemed a worthwhile exercise of asset readiness. Grant money is awarded each year to allow hospitals to conduct relevant drill.

Standing  are (l-r) Jeremy Howe, maintenance; Dino Cherry, IT; Janet Brunner, Imaging & Business Development; Brandi Bryington, Lab;  Julie Laughner, Imaging; Janie MacDonald, Social Services; Sherri Peterson, Nursing; Jill Wittemore, Acute Care Nursing; Krissa Woodward, Operating Room (OR) Nurse; Jen Abplanalp, OR Nurse; Barb Shaffer, EMT, EmergyCare; Judy Carlson, SPU Nurse; Myrna Bowman, OR Nurse; Fred Strickland, Paramedic, EmergyCare; and Dale Rolls, Cardiac Lab.