Area hospitals prepare for disasters

A disaster preparedness drill took place Wednesday at Union Hospital in Terre Haute and Clinton, as well as Regional Hospital.

Posted: Nov 8, 2017 4:09 PM
Updated: Nov 8, 2017 6:44 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Union Hospital set its Disaster Preparedness Drill into motion on Wednesday.

Jed Anglin says, "I was in the building there was a tornado, the building collapsed, and I got hit with a bunch of different debris."

Human actors involved in the Union Hospital Disaster Preparedness Drill. (WTHI Photo, Lacey Clifton)

Anglin is a Nursing student at Ivy Tech. But Wednesday he was part of the disaster preparedness drill at Union Hospital.

Anglin shares, "It's good education because it's applying a lot of things I’ve learned in class and I’ve studied that way but haven't really experienced too much."

For a student like Anglin, the drill is an education tool. As for those already on the job in the emergency room, it gives them a chance to see how ready they are for a major disaster to arise.

Nursing Care Manger at the Union Hospital Emergency Department, Sonya Sampson says, "You kind of get that adrenaline surge that there's a person in front of you which really helps that you have those live participants versus a paper. You feel more anxiety it's just much more of a real feel so that you know you're doing the right things in the event that a real patient comes in."

One interesting station within the disaster preparedness drill is the Incident Command Center. It’s basically the hub where everything is coordinated. EMS Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Barry Nicoson says it's an integral part in making sure everyone is where they need to be, when they need to be.

He says, "There are different levels and different things. There are operation sections chiefs, there are public information officers, safety officers and they all have a certain role that they play."

While their parts in this bigger operation may differ, the goal for them is the same. When life takes an unpredictable turn, these folks aim keep you and your family safe.

Nicoson reflects, "It could easily be tomorrow and it could have been today and that's why you practice."

Just because the drill has wrapped up doesn't mean the work is all over. The hospital says employees work to identify strengths and weaknesses to decide how things are done in the future.

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