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Oaklawn emergency team conducts training drill

Oct. 3, 2017

Oaklawn emergency team conducts training drill with Marshall police, firefighters 

MARSHALL –  No one can predict when a horrific event might occur, and even the safest-seeming environment might turn dangerous.

On Sept. 28, the staff of Oaklawn’s entire main campus participated in a drill prepared by its Emergency Preparedness team.

The two-hour drill was designed to portray a scenario in which a holiday parade becomes terrifying – and potentially deadly – when a vehicle begins running down parade watchers in downtown Marshall.

The drill involved eight mock “patients” arriving to the Emergency Department via ambulances – adult trauma, one pediatric trauma, one adult critical, one pediatric critical and four patients with serious injuries, according to Jess Kingston, Oaklawn’s emergency preparedness coordinator. The event also included a “lock down” drill designed to protect patients and staff from external threats.

The drills were conducted with the assistance of the Marshall Police Department and Marshall Firefighters Ambulance service. Law-enforcement authorities said such drills help to educate employees on how to plan for and handle extreme situations.

Oaklawn conducts emergency preparedness drills several times each year to increase the readiness and awareness of staff in case of an actual emergency event, and is mandated by the state to conduct at minimum two drills, Kingston said.

Each drill is followed immediately by an “after action report,” to determine what went well and what could be improved. Information gathered during the after action reports is shared throughout the organization as a means to continuously improve the process of preparing for any real events.

“This kind of training is necessary, important and very informative,” said Oaklawn President and CEO Ginger Williams, who was among those who participated in the drill. “In cases of mass casualties or external threats for any reason – environmental, man-made, or medical – knowledge of what to do, and systematically doing those things, results in saving many lives,” she said.

“We extend our thanks to the partners who have participated with us in this and other drills,” Williams said. “While we hope it’s never needed, the collective increase in teamwork and preparedness we all gain from these events will serve the people in our communities well if such an event does occur.”

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