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Franklin Co. hospitals practice tornado disaster drill

FRANKLIN CO., OH (WCMH) - Hospital systems around Franklin county took part in a tornado disaster drill on Wednesday that simulates real-life catastrophes. 

The drill was planned before an actual tornado hit Grove City last week. The exercise served as a reminder that actual disasters can strike at any moment. 

In a mock command center at Mount Carmel West, hospital staff were dealing with a pretend disaster: multiple tornadoes hitting the region. 

“These are very real situations that can happen, so we want to make sure the staff know how to handle both taking care of your current patient load, but then all of a sudden being told, ‘By the way we just had this disaster happen,’” said director of operations Tom Herrmann.

He said it’s good practice for something that could actually happen here in Central Ohio. 

“The nurses are actually triaging, assessing what category of patients they are,” said Herrmann. 

300 victim volunteers had mock injuries, things like physical trauma from being crushed by a building or cuts from flying debris. 

“They had the bleeding presented and everything,” said mock patient Clayton Miller, who had a metal shard sticking out of his life. “Going into a healthcare profession, I think it’s good that even students like us get exposed to these kind of opportunities because it makes us more aware of we are going to possibly go through an experience like this.”

Herrmann said these scenarios have all kinds of issues they have to work through.

“We were told we ran out of blood,” he said. “What do we do to reach out to get more blood? So, we contacted American Red Cross and asked for more blood resources.”

He said it helps the staff practice and work out problems, so if it does happen real life they’re ready. 

“We do them very regularly, so we make sure we’re prepared,” said Herrmann. 

He said they participate in drills quarterly. These exercises often involve disasters and mass casualty events. 


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