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ETMC Crockett holds disaster drill

CROCKETT, TEXAS - It was about 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, when ETMC Crockett team members were notified that a disaster drill was underway in the emergency department.

When the emergency call was announced, ETMC staff members immediately reported to their designated stations to position themselves for the situation and execute a pre-determined plan of action for such events.

In the disaster drill conducted on Saturday, the mock scenario consisted of an airplane crash involving a fuel spill and fire. The mock drill resulted in ETMC EMS, Grapeland EMS and Palestine EMS transporting some 20 patients, portrayed by Angelina College nursing students, who carried papers into the emergency department describing their injuries. The mock injuries ranged from very minor to life threatening with some requiring only bandages and others needing emergency surgery.

Each mock patient was met at the emergency department door by ETMC nurses and doctors, who immediately assessed the condition of each mock victim and ordered the necessary care. The injuries sustained by the mock patients were addressed in a very orderly yet extremely efficient manner, ensuring that each patient received the care needed.

ETMC Crockett Emergency Department Director Mike Wyman said, "We respond to these drills as we would in any real emergency or disaster. We treat these mock patients with the same high level of care we do those involved in real emergency situations."

During the one-and-a-half hour drill, each of the mock victims received treatment that would likely have been administered had the event been a real emergency.

Hospital drills are conducted several times each year and are part of the ongoing commitment of ETMC Crockett to bring the best possible medical care to the entire community.

"The ETMC Crockett staff is among the finest in East Texas, and we work diligently to provide the community with the best medical care possible," said ETMC Crockett Administrator Terry Cutler.

"These drills help us evaluate all aspects of our care from the emergency department to a hospital room. We use the results of the data collected during these drills to improve," Cutler added.

During a disaster drill, as in any real emergency, all ETMC Crockett staff are called to the hospital to assist in providing care to patients and their families. Nearly 100 ETMC Crockett staff members from every department, including radiology, laboratory, cardiopulmonary, nursing, business office, emergency, labor and delivery and the intensive care unit, attended the Saturday drill. Physicians who have privileges to practice at ETMC Crockett were also notified and asked to assist in the drill.

Other entities participating in the drill included ETMC Trinity, ETMC EMS units from the Trinity area, ham radio operators and the multiple volunteer fire departments located throughout the county.