Jim Hogan and Kellie Bilow, left, treat a mock patient during a recent drill at Inter-Lakes Health. Kristin Thompson, right, directs and oversees emergency responders.
Ticonderoga On Tuesday, March 20, Inter-Lakes Health participated in a state-wide regional disaster drill sponsored by New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). Many staff members volunteered to participate as mock victims while others carried out roles for triaging, tracking and monitoring the victims, and developing strategies and planning to direct the flow of resources for the drill. The command staff utilized the Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS), which has been designed to allow the NYSDOH and health care systems throughout the state to identify and monitor public health incidents as they occur; to monitor regional participation and updates for the drill.
The drill began at 7:05 a.m., when the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a simulated tornado warning for Franklin and Clinton Counties and a tornado watch for Essex County. At 7:39 a.m., HERDS notified the hospital that a tornado had touched down in Clinton County and advised the hospital to backup our landline communications. At 8:05 a.m. a tornado hit the Elizabethtown Hospital and created a microburst in Ticonderoga that destroyed a portion of the Ticonderoga High School. At 8:45am, Moses Ludington Hospital was notified by EMS that mock patients would arrive at the hospital within 5 minutes.
“As a whole our facility did an outstanding job with the drill” says Tara Joubert, Director of Support Service. “We were able to exceed the states expectation by not only testing our Facility Surge Plan by setting up a secondary triage, but completing a hospital evacuation, and receiving of mock patients from Elizabethtown County Hospital. Based on our current census, we were able to "evacuate" 2 mock swing-bed patients from the Patient Care Unit to the Nursing Home in order to accommodate the 6 mock patients we were receiving due to the facility damage incurred by the tornado in Elizabethtown.”