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Hospital preps for emergencies

An emergency preparedness drill was conducted at Douglas County Hospital (DCH) on November 14 in a joint effort between Heartland Orthopedic Specialists, North Memorial Ambulance, Alexandria Police Department and Douglas County Sheriff's Department.

Emergency Preparedness Drills are scheduled to take place bi-annually. However, this was the second drill of this nature conducted this year in response to a need to increase the effectiveness of the emergency plan.

Through the consistent practice of running drills, the organizations are able to find new efficiencies and improvements to their plan. These drills are a routine part of ensuring the safety of patients and staff for any unexpected adverse conditions.

This drill was for an armed assailant in the building. DCH has also conducted drills for natural disasters, biochemical events, fire and smoke emergencies, terrorist attacks, hostage situations and bomb threats.

"Of course we hope that there is never a need to implement an emergency plan, and the likelihood of most of these events is relatively low. However, it's our responsibility to prepare for any possible adverse situation," said DCH CEO Carl Vaagenes. "It's a responsibility everyone involved takes very seriously."

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