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SMH Participates in Tri County Disaster Drill -
October 11, 2008

Stephens Memorial Hospital (SMH) was one of 5 hospitals participating in a tri county disaster drill on Saturday, October 11th.  Emergency personnel from Franklin, Androscoggin and Oxford counties participated in the drill, which sent 19 "patients" to the SMH emergency services department. 

The drill began with a terrorist driven/hazardous materials/mass casualty bus crash scenario in Canton.  "Patients" - volunteers from Oxford Hills Oxford Hills Music & Performing Arts Association (OHMPAA), the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School Key Club, staff and volunteers from SMH were transported to SMH from the site of the disaster by a bus sponsored by SAD #17. 

The hospital's incident command post was established at about 9:30 am and a recall of employees from home was started.  In addition to the arrival of the 19 patients, as a secondary issue, the hospital's emergency room was assumed to be full added to the scenario.  Employees then had to work on establishing a secondary ER site in the endoscopy suite. SMH is capable of adding up to 25 additional emergency beds during a declared disaster.

This drill was the second that SMH participated in during the last few months.  All hospitals are required to participate in two large scale drills annually.

An evaluation of the drill by department managers and staff from the EMA office was held later in the week.  Participants and EMA staff felt that the situation was handled efficiently and effectively.  Their recommendations for improvement were discussed and will be addressed by Mike Hatch, Safety and Security Officer for Stephens Memorial Hospital. 

Of the drill, Hatch stated, "This drill, being held on a beautiful fall Saturday, showed that SMH staff will come together to pitch in and even activating a separate emergency room.  The drill was basically unannounced to staff and those called were willing to come in and help do what was needed.  Those individuals who were already working that day went the extra mile to make things run smoothly."


Photo Caption: PACE Delivers L-R: Barrett Pottle, Nursing Adminstrator, Darlene Glover, Nursing Director, Emergency Services, Deb Reynolds, Paradmedic, Barbara Seaborg, M.D., Gary Sousa, EMT, Kayla Fitzmorris

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