Dozens of volunteers, hospital employees, and local emergency responders will take part in a mock disaster exercise on Saturday, May 21 at the Rutland Airport. This full scale exercise will test the preparedness and response of local, regional and state agencies should a real crisis occur.
The event, sponsored by Rutland Regional Medical Center and Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport, will focus on response plans for an actual disaster which would trigger a sudden influx of patients, media, and concerned community members.
This full scale mass-casualty exercise is being conducted in collaboration with multiple partner agencies including the Rutland Regional Medical Center, Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport, State and Local Police and Fire Departments, Regional Ambulance Service and The Department of Homeland Security.
The scenario for the exercise includes a simulated plane crash and simulated response from multiple regional agencies. The local community can expect to see emergency responders at Rutland Regional Medical Center looking and acting as if it were a true disaster. Normal hospital Emergency Department operations and patient care, along with operations of participating agencies, will not be affected by the exercise.
Hospitals are required by the Joint Commission to have disaster response plans in place and conduct periodic exercises for improvement and training purposes. "The goal of this exercise is to enhance working relationships and collaboration between the agencies and organizations involved," said Beth Winter, Exercise Director and manager of Emergency Preparedness at Rutland Regional. "It’s a mock exercise, but a very real test of our ability to respond to an actual disaster. We appreciate the cooperation of everyone involved."
Lt. Chuck Cacciatore, the Station Commander for the Vermont State Police in Rutland stated, "It has been a very interesting process, learning and coordinating with our federal and state planning partners. There is a lot more behind the scenes to make this drill a reality. Communication with all the partners is key."
About Rutland Regional Medical Center
Rutland Regional Medical Center is the second largest healthcare facility in Vermont with a national reputation for outstanding patient care, nursing excellence and innovation. US News & World Report has recognized Rutland Regional as one of America’s Best Hospitals to receive common care, and Healthgrades® named Rutland Regional among the top 10% in the Nation for Outstanding Patient Experience and Patient Safety, along with “high performing” designations for its clinical performance in Pacemaker Procedures, Prostate Surgery and Total Knee Replacement. Recently designated for a second time, Rutland Regional is a Magnet® hospital, providing the highest level of recognition for quality nursing care.
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