Ohio Health System and City Fire Department Team Up for April 19 Disaster Exercise

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Humility of Mary Health Partners combines forces with Youngstown Fire Department for April 19 statewide disaster drill in Ohio. Collaboration provides both with valuable insight into the management of a full-scale disaster.

On April 19, 2012 from 8am-12pm, Humility of Mary Health Partners (HMHP) will participate in a disaster exercise conducted by the Northeast Central Ohio Regional Disaster Planning Consortium (NECO). Disaster exercises or mock drills are held annually to test the plans and response times of participating hospitals and emergency management agencies. This year’s exercise will stage a tornado sweeping through 13 surrounding counties with 53 agencies participating.

At St. Elizabeth in Youngstown, the Youngstown Fire Department will be onsite to participate in the drill. Firefighters will establish an incident command center in the front of the Park Avenue lobby and will work with hospital officials as active participants in the drill.

The Northeast Central Ohio regional hospitals, including St. Elizabeth, St. Joseph and St. Elizabeth Boardman health centers, annually assess the most likely cause for disaster in our region and the 2010 study named tornados as the number one concern.
During the exercise each agency is expected to establish the Incident Command System (ICS) as they normally would in a large scale disaster. Additional goals and objectives that will be tested in this exercise include:

  •     Sharing initial and ongoing incident information which includes communication from the hospitals to appropriate agencies and resource allocation.
  •     Updating each county Emergency Management Agency (EMA) on availability of beds and the status of the hospitals in their county.
  •     Testing some hospital’s medical evacuation plans which includes sheltering and securing appropriate transportation for patients.

Full-scale exercises are part of HMHP’s overall preparedness strategy. Staff members work together to show their capabilities in communication, emergency public information and warning, epidemiological surveillance and investigation, patient surge, medical evacuation, fatality management, patient evacuation and patient accommodation.

About Humility of Mary Health Partners
Humility of Mary Health Partners is an integrated health system located in the Youngstown/Warren area. It is a region of Catholic Health Partners (CHP) in Cincinnati, the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest Catholic health systems in the United States. HMHP provides a full spectrum of health care services, including inpatient, outpatient, emergency, urgent care, home care and long-term care. Members are St. Elizabeth Health Center, St. Joseph Health Center, St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center, HM Home Health Services, The Assumption Village, Humility House, Hospice of the Valley and Laurel Lake. Learn more about HMHP online at http://www.HMpartners.org.

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Tina Creighton
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