UNION COUNTY — The Union Hospital District and several other local emergency response organizations will participate in a statewide disaster drill from 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday, June 3.
Emily Cannon, RN, BSN, and Director of Quality Improvement for Wallace Thomson Hospital, said that the drill is designed to test the response of local emergency responders to a statewide catastrophe.
“Next week, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division is having a statewide drill where they will simulate a hurricane hitting the coast,” Cannon said. “Each county that chose to participated through its Emergency Management Division was charged with developing their own drill scenario.
“Our scenario is going to be a tornado that spins off the hurricane will hit Ellen Sagar Nursing Home,” she said. “The objectives of our drill will be testing evacuation of the nursing home, emergency transport, the capabilities of Union County EMS, and the management of an influx of mass casualties for Wallace Thomson Hospital.”
Cannon said the drill will involve the hospital district, EMS, Union County Emergency Management Division, Union County First Responders, Bonham Fire Department, Kelly-Kelton Fire Department, and the Jonesville Fire Department.
“We are working collaboratively for our countywide drill,” Cannon said. “Our goal is to see how well we work collaboratively in such an emergency and how well eaCH organization would respond.”
Also participating in the drill will be the Health Occupation students from Union County High School and Brown Mackey Nursing School students who Cannon said have volunteered to play the “victims” of the catastrophe.
Cannon said the Spartanburg County EMS will also participate in the drill, bringing their mss casualty ambulance. She said the mass casualty ambulance has room for up to 20 patients.
To achieve as much realism as possible, Cannon said the report of the catastrophe will go through the 911 system as would any actual emergency. She said the tornado siren will also sound as part of the effort at realism.
Cannon said that because of this effort at realism, the potential exists for some members of the public to think the disaster is actually happening. She stressed that this is not the case and that what will be happening Tuesday will be simply a drill to test the ability of emergency organizations to respond to such a catastrophe.
“We want everybody to know that it will only be a drill,” Cannon said.