Wheeling Hospital and the Ohio Valley Medical Center, along with other hospitals in 11 surrounding counties participated in these drills today mandated by the West Virginia Hospital Association.
“We have a full functional disaster exercise going on, it’s part of a it’s the State and region at the local level, it’s a winter waters it’s called,” said Director of Safety Security Emergency Management, Wheeling Hospital, John Sebring.
Here’s the scenario, the area has received two feet of snow followed by a warm front so the snow is melting and there’s a major rain coming down as the drill’s progressing, there’s flooding everywhere. The major roads are closed, and on top of that all the phones in the hospital go down. This is just one of many obstacles the hospitals are forced to deal with during the drill, but they do these procedures to ensure they are prepared.
“Drills are important in many different ways, it test our ability to get set up. But, in addition it’s important for us to test our abilities to be able to work as a team with all of the other area facilities, all of the other area resources that we have available,” VP of Quality and Risk Management for OVMC and EORH Staci Trudo told 7News Reporter Nick Conigliaro.
“Hospitals prepared 24/7 that our executive command staff can set up the command center and protect our hospital and keep it operational in worse off conditions,” said Sebring.
And today’s drills showcase one thing, “We’re prepared and able to stand the hospital up in the worst kind of traffic conditions and can keep it operational at the worst of times,” Sebring told 7News.
“This truly is a community working together showing that everyone working on this can truly work as a team, and that we’re all here for you,” said Trudo. “It’s not any individual, it’s all of us.”
According to officials, the hospitals participate in these exercises on a yearly basis to keep their teams ready for any type of emergency.