Local hospital, fire departments practice emergency operation plan

Posted at 12:45 PM, Dec 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-11 12:45:29-05

HANOVER, Va (WTVR) -- One Virginia hospital is practicing ways to make sure all patients and workers are safe in the case of a disaster.  A training exercise was held today at the Bon Secour Memorial Regional Medical Center.  It allowed first responders to take part in what's being called an evacuation practice--a first of its kind training exercise in the region.

The community collaboration was designed to ensure those we rely on for safety and treatment would have the necessary tools and training to deal with 'escalating circumstances.'

"We are not only able to practice our plans but we are able to build relationships and actually practice for the real thing," Hanover Battalion Chief Jason Williams said.  "So if for some reason this ever happened we would have an idea of how it's supposed to go and some of the key people in key roles; who they are and to have those relationships in place."

During today's training scenario, staff and emergency crews reacted to the hospital being impacted by high winds, leaving parts of the building damaged.  Although it was a mock exercise the men and women from all over Central Virginia taking part jumped into action as if it were a real life situation, utilizing the hospital, mobile command centers and other medical units.

"It's really just wonderful to see these relationships flourish and to better prepare us to handle anything that comes to the community," Gary Welch with Bon Secours Regional Medical Center said.

More than 100 personnel from the hospital, as well as crews from Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover took part in today's training exercise.