Columbus, OH,
17:25 PM

ABC6: Central Ohio Hospitals Take Part in Disaster Drill

It’s springtime and with that can come severe weather, such as the reported tornado in Grove City in early April. Fortunately, that tornado did not bring massive injuries, but how would hospitals respond if there was an influx of patients due to a severe weather event? That scenario was recently tested out as part of the annual Central Ohio Trauma System (COTS) full-scale emergency preparedness exercise.

Hundreds volunteers participated in the drill, having makeup applied to have it appear as if they had been injured in a tornado that ripped through the community. They were then transported to over a dozen central Ohio hospitals to be “treated” by staff as part of the drill. The goal is to make sure that each hospital is prepared in the event of a mass casualty.

ABC6 meteorologist Rachael Penton visited OhioHealth Grant Medical Center to see firsthand how a drill of this magnitude is visible to hospital workers.

“We’ll have a long discussion (after the drill) to make sure we’re always putting the best practice out there, always making sure that we have the best resources available and always continually improving,” said Joey Hartsock, safety officer at Grant Medical Center.

The team says it’s all about education and improvement.

“What we’re hoping to accomplish today is to be able to identify some weaknesses that we might have in our plans and get staff more familiar with the operations of a mass casualty incident, as well as get some education out there for future events,” said Chris Miller, RN, an emergency department nurse at Grant.

While this drill simulated a tornado, the same tactics could be applied to something like an explosion or plane crash.

To learn more about trauma services at OhioHealth, click here.