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Mercy Drill Designed to Prepare Employees for an Emergency

Photo Courtesy Mercy
Mercy Springfield
Photo Courtesy Mercy

The drill depicted an explosion at a local manufacturing plant where two school groups were doing a tour.  Healthcare workers had to deal not only with mass casualties but also with decontamination due to chemicals used at the plant.

Russ Conroy is emergency preparedness coordinator at Mercy.  He says they want to be as prepared as possible for any event that might unfold.

"All you need to do is watch the news any evening, and you can see multiple things going on from weather to man made events that affect not only the hospitals but the community, and if we can prepare the community to be ready for any type of event, then that's a strong advantage," he said.

And he says credentialing requirements say the hospital needs to be prepared at all times—this is just one way to do that.

All hospital departments were involved in the drill, and employees from CoxHealth took part as observers.

Conroy says they’ll take the information gained from the drill and use it to be ready in case of a real emergency.

"At the end of the exercise we will bring everybody together for what we call a hot wash, which is a review, and the people that are my observers will come in and say, 'this is what we did well.  This is the areas we can improve on.'  And the idea is that we are going to stress it until we fail, until we need to improve," he said.

Conroy says Mercy conducts several smaller exercises each year to prepare for emergencies.  But he says this is the largest drill they’ve conducted in two years.