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BRUSH, Colorado (Sept. 25, 2017) — Recent hurricanes in Florida, Texas and the Caribbean highlight the importance of emergency preparedness, and the topic already had been on the minds of local leaders. To ensure Morgan County health care providers and emergency responders in Brush know what to do in a large-scale disaster, East Morgan County Hospital with local businesses and agencies will conduct a full-scale emergency exercise Saturday, Oct. 7.
Banner Health Clinics in Brush and on Railroad Avenue in Fort Morgan will join EMCH, Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center, Brush Police Department, Brush Volunteer Fire Department, Morgan County, Morgan County Ambulance Service, Northeast Colorado Health Department, NJC, and the City of Brush to test emergency response. The scenario involves the after-effects of a tornado hitting the community. Through the drill, volunteers acting as injured patients will be transported to EMCH and the Banner clinics in both Brush and Fort Morgan.
To test the decision-making skills of participants, the drill organizers will add “injects” or surprise situations on top of the tornado response. Participants will simulate what to do when a large number of patients arrive at the hospital for care and how to handle communications between the Emergency Operations Center, the hospital and other care sites.
Brush Volunteer Fire Chief Tad Anderson said the drill originated in the spring at the request of the hospital. EMCH and Banner Health Clinics are required to complete various emergency training exercises and this turned into a community event, Anderson said.
“This will be the first time many of the individuals involved will have participated in this type of full-scale exercise,” Anderson said. The goal is to let people make decisions and learn from them. “It’s a great opportunity to teach the community as well as all of us.”
Community members who witness the exercise may see volunteers made up as injured patients. Anderson and EMCH’s CEO, Linda Thorpe want to assure bystanders that the exercise is just a drill. Thorpe emphasized that hospital and clinic employees will strive to make sure the exercise does not interrupt care for current hospitalized patients and clinic visitors.
The exercise will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7.
About East Morgan County Hospital
East Morgan County Hospital is operated by Banner Health, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health care systems with 28 hospitals in six states. East Morgan opened in 1967 with its new patient wing opening in 2014. EMCH offers inpatient and outpatient diagnostic services, women’s care, cancer care, Emergency care, intensive care with iCare technology, medical imaging and the state-of-the-art Alonzo Petteys Rehabilitation Center. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com/EastMorgan.