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Valuable Information Learned From Multi-County Disaster Drill

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Ravenna – On April 25, Robinson Memorial Hospital, in conjunction with the Northeast Central Ohio Regional Disaster Planning Consortium (NECO) and a number of emergency management agencies, held a mock disaster exercise to test the hospitals’ abilities to respond to a devastating ice storm which swept through the region resulting in numerous simulated casualties and fatalities.

All 50 participating agencies among 13 counties were given the same scenario in order to assess their collaborative efforts in planning and responding, communicating with each other and sharing supplies, equipment or staff when possible. “Through these exercises, hospitals continue to show great capability in using systems and processes that will ensure appropriate care can be provided for our patients in the midst of a disaster or incident that threatens the safety of the community ,” said Sarah Metzger,  Director of the Akron Regional Hospital Association. “Hospitals tested the ability to share multiple critical resources with other partner hospitals and agencies with great success. It was clearly demonstrated that hospitals and community partners are able to respond together to fulfill the needs of the community.”

Functional exercises and mock disaster drills such as this one serve the purpose of testing each hospital or agency’s internal disaster and crisis communication plans. “These exercises serve as a valuable learning tool because they emphasize not only what we are doing well, but also areas where improvements can be made,” said Metzger. “An outcome report will be distributed to all participating hospitals and agencies which will highlight areas to focus on improving upon for next year.”

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