JOHN DAY – Here’s the situation: An armed gunman bursts into a local clinic, wreaking early morning havoc and panic to medical staff, waiting patients and innocent passers-by.
That’s the scenario for Blue Mountain Hospital District’s upcoming emergency preparedness drill to be held from 7-9 a.m. Friday, May 2, at Strawberry Wilderness Community Clinic.
Les McLeod, BMH chief nursing officer, said the clinic will effectively be closed during those hours, but if a real patient emergency arises at the clinic, it will be addressed. McLeod also stressed that Blue Mountain Hospital will be open.
Signs will be posted stating that a “drill is in progress” and staff will be at entrance doors to advise people entering the facility.
McLeod said John Day Dispatch will have periodic announcements via scanner, that a drill is in progress.
The emergency is classified as “Code Silver,” which involves a combative person with a weapon. McLeod said a fire will also be part of the scenario.
In addition to clinic, and BMH staff and ambulance crews, those participating in the disaster training include the John Day Police Department, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, John Day and Prairie City fire departments, the Grant Union Junior-Senior High School drama club, and several other county emergency crews.
McLeod said the training will help staff and crews tweak policies and improve responsiveness in the event of such an situation. Objectives include improving communication systems, tracking patients and implementing an incident command center, he said.
He added that the clinic will resume normal operations at 9 a.m., although some drill activities may continue past that time.