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Drill puts responders through paces in Madison County

altonmemorialdisasterdrillAlton Memorial Hospital clinicians tended to a “patient” in the Emergency Room on July 28 as part of a mock disaster drill conducted throughout Madison County and involving 20 different agencies.

The drill helped the agencies prepare for something they hope they never have to deal with in real life — in this case a train/bus crash involving injured students and hazardous waste materials.

Edwardsville High School students volunteered as injured patients that bypassed on-scene EMS and were transported to the Emergency Department by personal vehicles.

“Self-presenting victims are an added challenge to hospitals during disasters as they may arrive with little or no notice,” said Ryan Pirtle, manager of Emergency Preparedness at AMH. “We tested our hospital incident command center activation process, patient surge plans, our communications plan as well as our pediatric reunification process. The exercise was considered successful, although we always identify opportunities for improvement.”

PHOTO: From left are Jason Bowman, Lisa Harmon and Erik Igo, along with Andy Strohbeck of Security,

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