Banner Churchill Community Hospital will participate in a mock earthquake disaster drill today from 8-10 a.m. at the hospital, while Naval Air Station Fallon will be a part of the same drill with several scenarios staged at the base.
Just like a real major earthquake, extra staff members will be brought in to help “disaster victims” injured by the earthquake, said Banner spokesman David Lozano. Even though many of the seismic activities are small and can’t be felt, scientists are looking to see if these minor tremors could lead to much larger ones that could hit at any time. Lozano said staff members at Banner Churchill are taking no chances in making sure they’re prepared for a real earthquake emergency.
A triage area will be set up outside of Banner Churchill where hospital and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) workers will be tending to “patients.” Lozano said hose “victims” will have their injuries assessed and then, depending on the severity of those injuries, the most critical “patients” will be taken into Banner Churchill Community Hospital’s Emergency Department for further treatment.
“This is only a test to see how the hospital and our EMS workers are prepared for a large earthquake,” said Steve Tafoya, Banner Churchill EMS Ambulance Services senior manager and organizer of the mock earthquake drill. “In serious emergency situations like this, we may have people injured in many different locations. Our focus is to find out what we need to do in case our Emergency Department gets inundated with a large number of injured patients who come to the hospital on their own. The ‘patients’ we’ll be seeing will be fully made up with fake injuries, and I think we’ll be able to learn a lot and better prepare ourselves in case of a large earthquake.”