February 08, 2010 | | Comments 0
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CT hospital used EMS manager to stay updated about energy plant explosion

I just got off the phone with Jim Hite, who is emergency planner and director of safety and security at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, CT An energy plant exploded in Middletown on Sunday afternoon, which forced the hospital to activate its emergency operations center.

The medical facility, which also rolled out the Hospital Incident Command System approach in response to the explosion, uses a nice arrangement to get details from the scene of an incident. The hospital’s EMS manager, who knows all the public safety players in the community, kept tabs on what was happening in the field from a paramedic on the scene. The EMS manager in turn acted as the liaison between the emergency operations center and the response scene, without the need to interact with busy police and fire officials, Hite says.

Any time hospital planners in the emergency operations center needed an update from the scene, they relied on the EMS manager to get this important info. That type of pipeline ensures details are consistent and coming from one person, which helps eliminate potential confusion during a stressful response.

On a related note, IHCPro will present a Webcast March 25 about community planning for disaster drills, which you can learn more about here.

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Scott Wallask About the Author: Scott Wallask is senior managing editor for HCPro's Hospital Safety Center (www.hospitalsafetycenter.com) and the award-winning newsletters, Briefings on Hospital Safety and Healthcare Life Safety Compliance. He has written about healthcare for HCPro since 1998, with a focus on occupational and building safety, emergency management, fire protection, and infection control. Prior to joining HCPro, he worked as a reporter for several newspapers in eastern Massachusetts. He holds a BA in print journalism, magna cum laude, from Northeastern University in Boston. Contact Scott at swallask@hcpro.com.

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