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Hospital Planning Emergency Exercise Saturday

By Ethan Rothstein

Friday - 10/4/2013, 10:00am  ET

Exterior of Virginia Hospital Center's maternity wardThe Virginia Hospital Center will host an emergency preparedness exercise this Saturday, including a simulated fire within the hospital walls.

Beginning Oct. 5 at 6:00 a.m. and continuing until noon, the emergency exercise will include all the aspects of the Arlington County Fire Department’s response to a real fire, without lights and sirens.

From an Arlington County press release:

A simulated hospital fire will test the Arlington County Fire Department’s emergency response while providing hands-on training to the Office of Emergency Management and Virginia Hospital Center staff. During the exercise, emergency personnel will respond as in a real emergency, but will not use their lights or sirens.

The exercise will be held inside the hospital and will not affect normal hospital services. Theexercise will include elements to add realism to the simulated emergency of a real fire:

  • A simulated fire and deployment of smoke in a secured and confined area of the hospital with the evacuation of patients will occur for training purposes
  • Participation by ACFD, OEM and Virginia Hospital Center personnel will test response times, collaboration and patient care during this simulation
  • More than 10 responding emergency vehicles will be used
  • Volunteer role players will simulate injuries sustained from the incident

The full-scale emergency preparedness exercise, which is the culmination of months of planning and coordination across these different disciplines, is part of Arlington County’sEmergency Preparedness Plan and will help ensure that ACFD, OEM and Virginia Hospital Center are prepared for real-life fire emergencies.

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the exercise elements may be seen or heard on Saturday morning from areas surrounding the hospital – especially in the proximity of the Virginia Hospital Center campus. This is only an exercise.