RUTLAND—Dozens of volunteers, hospital employees, and local emergency responders will take part in a mock disaster exercise on Saturday, Sept. 23 at a location within Rutland City. This full-scale, mass-casualty exercise will test the preparedness and response of local, regional and state agencies should a real crisis occur.
The mock drill has been planned since January and is being conducted in collaboration with partner agencies, including the Rutland Regional Medical Center, local police and fire departments, and District 10 emergency medical service (EMS) agencies.
The event, sponsored by Rutland Regional Medical Center and Rutland City Police Department, will focus on response plans for an actual disaster that would trigger a sudden influx of patients, media, and concerned community members. The community can expect to see emergency responders at Rutland Regional Medical Center looking and acting as if there were a true disaster. Normal hospital emergency department operations and patient care, along with operations of participating agencies, will not be affected by the exercise.
Hospitals are required by the private, not-for-profit Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations to have disaster response plans in place and conduct periodic exercises for improvement and training purposes. This exercise is an opportunity to train over 100 emergency medical service providers on hazmat “warm zone” entry with law enforcement.
“The goal of this exercise is to enhance working relationships and collaboration between the agencies and organizations involved,” said Beth Winter, exercise director and emergency preparedness manager at Rutland Regional. “It’s a mock exercise, but a very real test of our ability to respond to an actual disaster. We appreciate the cooperation of everyone involved.”