Sunday, September 26, 2021

Hospitals use exercise to test emergency communications

| May 5, 2021 1:00 AM

Kalispell Regional Medical Center and North Valley Hospital are set to participate in an emergency communications exercise on Friday, May 7 in collaboration with several emergency organizations across the state.

In collaboration with the Whitefish Fire Department, Flathead County Office of Emergency Services, Montana Department of Disaster and Emergency Services and the Western Region Healthcare Coalition, the exercise will test the disaster medical control centers at both KRMC and NVH.

“These operational-based functional exercises are complex events that require detailed planning,” said Chelsia Elmore, KRH Emergency Preparedness Manager, in a release. “This coordinated effort is evidence that local hospitals, public health and emergency management are committed to preparedness and resilience.”

The exercise will simulate an active shooter situation at a local high school and will help hospital staff evaluate their preparedness capacities and capabilities to respond to a similar event.

All local first responders have been informed of the exercise and all communications throughout the drill will be clearly defined as exercises.

These drills are required by the Foundation for Healthcare and Medical Readiness to train and prepare the healthcare and medical work force in real world situations, according to a release.

“Exercises such as this one allow us to assess our abilities to receive and share real-time information and maintain shared situation awareness between impacted facilities as well as the public,” Elmore said. “Practicing these events helps us uncover opportunities for improvement and be prepared for real-world emergencies.”

The exercise is set to begin at 10:45 a.m. on Friday and will wrap up by noon.