City Undergoes Disaster Drill

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2012

     Disaster preparedness was on the minds of emergency workers in Brookhaven Tuesday during a disaster training exercise.

     King’s Daughters Medical Center employees, EMTs, police officers and firefighters responded to a call at the Exchange Club Park ball field Tuesday morning, where hospital volunteers were victim of a mock bleacher collapse.

     “We do a disaster drill a couple of times a year,” said David Culpepper, public relations director at the hospital. “This way, we’re prepared at a moment’s notice and will be able to step in and take care of these people.”

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     As part of the “Code Black” drill, emergency workers assessed victims and transported them to KDMC according to their injuries. Patients labeled critical were moved quickly, while deceased victims were last to be moved.

     “We see how [workers] respond to a major incident,” said Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey as he took notes during the exercise. “Hopefully we learn from this and our response is better.”

     Galey and others officials will meet following the exercise to evaluate the job done and see where and how they can improve.

     “We’ll see what we did right, what we did wrong and what our areas of improvement are,” Culpepper said. “Those actions will then be corrected.”

     Culpepper said hospital employees had no knowledge of the drill until patients began arriving. After evaluation of injuries and treatment, Culpepper said the next step in any disaster is to notify families and the community of the incident.

     Previous disaster drills have included a bus wreck, a major accident on Highway 55 and a train wreck.