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P R E S B Y T E R I A N H E A LT H C A R E F O U N D AT I O N

Disaster Drill Tests Preparedness of Emergency Services Team at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas

A plane crashes into the Texas Motor Speedway grandstand w h e r e 2 , 8 0 0 s p e c t a t o r s a r e s i t t i n g , h a v i n g n o t i m e t o r e a c t o r evacuate. Within seconds of the plane crashing into the grandstand, the Texas Motor Speedway emergency services teams are activated to respond to the large scale disaster event. Some time following the crash it is learned that a radioactive substance has been dispersed from the plane among the crowd, adding to the extremity of the situation.

How would we respond, as a city and a region, if this tragedy actually occurred? We would respond using the hospital’s emergency response plan as well as the Major Disaster Hospital Response Plan. The emergency services team at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas (PHD), consisting of employees and health care staff who have been trained to handle this type of situation, were put to the test in their execution of the Major Disaster Hospital Response Plan on November 15, 2004. The team was given the scenario described above for the Texas Motor Speedway during a Disaster Drill meant to test the preparedness and response of local, county, state and federal emergency response agencies.

“I believe that the emergency services team at PHD did very well during the disaster drill,” said Cynthia Walker, a member of the PHD emergency services team. “We were confront- ed with scenarios that we could not have planned for, which allowed us to fine tune our procedures. In the case of an actual emergency of this nature, I believe we have the tools and the knowledge necessary to respond.”

Seventy-five mock victims were sent to PHD for decontamination by the specially trained team of volunteers, the mock patients were then sent through triage in the emergency department and taken into the hospital for continued treatment.

“We are very proud of our employees and medical staff and the great teamwork during this drill,” said Tony McClure, safety manager for PHD.

Photos taken during the disaster drill, in which Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas successfully participated with other area hospitals.

In the case of an actual emergency of this nature, I believe we have the tools and the knowledge necessary to respond.

PRISM

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