BY STACI WILSON
Endless Mountains Health Systems executed a successful evacuation drill on Saturday morning.
Staff and play-acting patients emptied the hospital in less than one hour.
After the drill, EMHS emergency coordinator Blaine Dibble said the exercise helped highlight some of the hospital’s needs if a real evacuation was ever necessary.
But overall, Dibble said, the drill went very well. “There were no real big issues apparent right away. The response was good from the fire and ambulance services and they worked well together.”
Susquehanna County Emergency Management Director Charlene Moser was also on scene.
Moser said, “The hospital’s incident command went well. Good communication was maintained throughout the drill.”
In addition to local fire and ambulance services, Bradford-Susquehanna EMS Council also participated in the drill; the first hospital drill the council has actively taken part in.
Hospital patients were first evacuated to a holding area; then triaged and prepared for transport to an alternate, temporary care site established at the Montrose United Methodist Church.
After the drill, church Pastor Jane Pykus said she expected more chaos during the events. “It was calmer than I expected,” said Pykus.
Drill evaluators will provide the EMHS with a detailed analysis in the coming weeks, but in the wrap-up meeting said it that, overall, it was well-executed.