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Mock drill tests emergency service response to fake tornado

by Osler Staff | Sep 20, 2017

Paramedics were on hand at the Emergency Department as a busload of disaster victims arrived. Some sported fake slashes on their faces and bodies.  Others had neck braces and body trauma.  Paramedics greeted the patients, handing them off to Osler staff to be ushered into the Emergency Department for care.

This is a Code Orange drill.

Police, community volunteers, and fire and ambulance services coordinated their efforts on September 19 to simulate a disaster situation. In the drill, a tornado touched down in the City of Brampton sending patients to both of Osler’s Emergency Departments.

“I was making tea in the kitchen and ended up on the ground. I have wounds to the back of my head. I don’t remember my name,” said Louise Gomez, member of Community Emergency Response Volunteers (CERV).  She sported a neck brace and blue paint around her eyes as she maneuvered her way off the bus ramp at Brampton Civic Hospital.

Fellow trauma patient actor Wally Terrier believes it's important to practice such a drill.  “Everyone needs to know what to do, and it’s good to be part of an exercise that tests our emergency procedures to see what works.” 

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See a gallery of the event on our Facebook page

Emergency preparedness plays an important role in making sure we deliver safe quality care, and Osler carries out drills at regular intervals to test our processes. External auditors attended to observe our emergency response as well.

“Nurses know how to take blood pressure, start IVs, they do that every day,” said Dana Banke, Paramedic with the Region of Peel.  “So, the purpose of the exercise is to test parts of the system that would be taxed in the case of a major disaster."

The drill was successful in validating existing processes while identifying gaps, said Calvin Millar, Emergency Management Consultant with Osler. “Drills provide a safe mechanism to have staff practice their response. We want to make sure that our policy reflects practice, and practice reflects policy.”

While Peel Memorial wasn’t included in this particular drill, other mock codes will be created in the future.

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