Oswego Hospital put its chemical decontamination plan to the test during a drill observed by city, county and state officials on September 18 in front of the healthcare facility.
The drillÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fictitious scenario involved high school students attending a sporting event at a park when an explosion occurred in a nearby storage shed. While there were no physical injuries due to the simulated explosion, several students experienced symptoms that included difficulty breathing and swallowing, stinging and tearing of the eyes, stomach nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness and headache.
Under the drill, rather than wait for emergency services personnel to respond to the scene, the frightened, anxious and sickened individuals decide to immediately report directly to Oswego Hospital.
Playing the role of the victims were students for Oswego County BOCES New Vision Allied Health Program. About 32 students from throughout the county role played throughout the drill.
Coordinating the drill was Paul Vandish, Oswego Health Director of Quality and Risk Management. Assisting in the drill were some 40 staff members from numerous hospital departments. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Once again our decontamination drill team demonstrated how well prepared we are as a facility to respond to this type of event if it were to occur in our community,Ã¢â‚¬Â Vandish said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I’m proud of all of our staff members that come together each year to support our efforts to improve our facilities emergency preparedness programming”.
Among those evaluating the drill was Anne Ryan, Upstate Regional Response Coordinator. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The drill looked very good,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The responders are very well trained and know their roles. They moved the victims smoothly and effectively.Ã¢â‚¬Â She oversees the drills of 22 hospitals in a 13-county area.
Oswego Healthcare system includes the Oswego Hospital, The Manor at Seneca Hill, a skilled nursing facility; Springside at Seneca Hill, a retirement living community; an urgent care center in Fulton, as well as health services centers in Mexico, Parish and now Phoenix. For more information, call (315) 349-5500 or visit oswegohealth.org.