Disaster Drill to Test and Train Emergency Response

DATE:  Wednesday, June 16, 2010

TIME:  8:30 - 11:00 A.M.

CONTACT:  For interviews, information or parking contact
  Mark Guidera, Johns Hopkins Medicine Media & Public Affairs
  443-898-2320 or [email protected]

SUBJECT:  Disaster Drill to Test and Train Emergency Response

DETAILS:  More than 150 volunteers and hospital employees will take part in a mock disaster drill on Wednesday, June 16, at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. The drill will test whether Emergency Department doctors, nurses and other staff are ready for a real calamity in Baltimore.

The event, which is being staged by the Department of Emergency Medicine, will focus on response plans for an actual crisis, which could trigger a sudden flood of patients who are injured or suffering from an unexpected disaster.

Normal Department of Emergency Medicine (ED) operations will not be affected by the drill. Directors of the exercise have the authority to cancel the drill at any time if they believe it is interfering with patient care needs in the hospital.

The scenario for the June 16 drill is a pile-up involving multiple vehicles and a large gasoline spill. During the drill, mock patients will be transferred by ambulances to the Johns Hopkins Hospital Emergency Department in East Baltimore. Approximately 100 volunteers, playing roles as patients and family members, will be involved in the exercise. About 40 hospital employees also will take part.

More than a dozen departments will participate in the drill, including the adult and pediatric emergency departments, surgery, trauma, medicine, psychiatry, radiology, security, labor and delivery, and the Lifeline transport service.

A primary triage location for the drill will be the ambulance bay area, located off E. Monument Street near N. Broadway Avenue. One or more yellow decontamination tents will be set up in the bay area. Emergency Department staff dressed in protective hazardous material suits and masks will perform triage of patients.

Tents, emergency staff and drill participants with mock injuries may be seen by motorists and pedestrians in the area. Baltimore media outlets are asked to alert the public not to be alarmed if they see drill equipment and participants around the main hospital on June 16.

Hospitals are required by the Joint Commission, formerly the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, to have disaster response plans in place and to conduct disaster drills periodically for improvement and training purposes.

Editors and producers note: This event will include excellent visuals for online, print and broadcast TV, as well as private interviews with senior emergency department officials. News outlets wishing to secure a parking space for television trucks or other media vehicles should contact Mark Guidera at Johns Hopkins Medicine.