Drill on July 7 tests emergency response to mass exposure of hazardous substance in Adams County

disaster drill

The Adams County Emergency Management Agency, Adams County Ambulance, Quincy Fire Department and Blessing Hospital participated in an emergency response exercise on July 7. | Photo courtesy of Steve Felde

QUINCY — Four Adams County organizations recently tested their ability to respond in a coordinated manner to a mass exposure of a hazardous substance in Quincy.

The organizations that partnered in the planning and execution of the full-scale community emergency response exercise on July 7 were the Adams County Emergency Management Agency, Adams County Ambulance, Quincy Fire Department and Blessing Hospital. The organizations conducted a debriefing on the exercise on Friday, July 8.

In a press release, Dr. Christopher Solaro, medical director, Quincy Area Emergency Medical Services System said, “Coordinating between multiple agencies allows us to test real-world scenarios to identify opportunities for improvement in our organization’s processes and also in how we coordinate and communicate with each other.”

Solaro also the chief medical officer of Blessing Health System.

The scenario involved the exposure of about 30 adult and pediatric patients, played by community volunteers, to a hazardous substance requiring triage and treatment from on-scene emergency medical personnel along with decontamination and treatment of patients at the Blessing Hospital Emergency Department.  The hazardous substance caused simulated irritation and burning to the eyes, skin and airway.  Traumatic injuries also were present with a select few mock patients. 

Blessing Hospital regularly educates and trains its staff and conducts exercises covering a variety of emergency scenarios as a matter of regulatory compliance. These exercises ensure the hospital’s preparedness to respond efficiently and effectively to unexpected needs when they arise in the community.

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