Southcoast Health and community partners hold evacuation drill at Charlton Memorial Hospital

FALL RIVER, Mass. – Southcoast Health, in collaboration with the Fall River Police Emergency Services Unit, Fall River Fire, Fall River EMS, Fall River EMA, the Department of Public Health and Region 5 EMS providers, today held an evacuation training drill at Charlton Memorial Hospital.

“This was a major endeavor for Southcoast and its community partners,” said David Camara, RN, CCRN, Associate Safety and Emergency Preparedness Officer. “A drill of this scope takes an abundance of coordination, teamwork and effort. We are incredibly fortunate to have such dedicated emergency and healthcare providers in this area.”

More than 150 healthcare providers, emergency personnel and volunteers participated in today’s drill. This included 65 nursing students from UMass Dartmouth and Bristol Community College, who simulated the evacuated patients. Representatives from St. Anne’s Hospital also took part.

The Region 5 EMS providers involved included STAT Ambulance Service of New England, Swansea Ambulance Corps, EasCare Ambulance, Brewster Ambulance Service, Alert Ambulance Service and SouthCoast EMS.

The drill’s objective was to assess the capabilities of Southcoast Health and its community providers to evacuate 35 patients from an upper level of the hospital during a simulated power outage.

“The purpose of this drill is to ensure that our evacuation plans are clear, effective and well practiced, and that our staff’s training in the use of emergency equipment is constantly being honed,” said Camara. “We are fortunate to work closely with our community partners to provide this vital training so that we are all prepared in the event of a real emergency.”

Southcoast Health routinely holds safety drills at its facilities, often working with its community partners to ensure cohesive management of resources during emergency situations.