If a chemical attack happens in Los Angeles County, hospitals and public safety officials will know what to do.
That feeling was enhanced Wednesday when multiple hospitals and local and county agencies gathered in Long Beach for a large-scale mock disaster response drill.
The drill included a mock chemical terrorist attack at the Port of Long Beach, a scenario during which health care workers and public safety officials practiced how they should respond to the mass casualties and patients needing to be decontaminated.
The 14 medical facilities that participated, all of which are in southeast Los Angeles County, are classified as Disaster Resource Hospitals. L.A. County chooses DRCs to help drill, train and educate other hospitals in their geographic region, said Kathy Dollarhide, the disaster preparedness site director at Dignity Health St. Mary Medical Center. They also train local first responder agencies and store specific pharmaceuticals and equipment.
Hospitals typically conduct disaster drills annually, but couldn’t for the past two years because of the pandemic, Dollarhide said.
Wednesday’s drill, at Long Beach’s St. Mary Medical Center, focused on a chemical attack. Health care workers in hazardous materials suits acted out what to do should such an attack occur. They ferried dummies, standing in for patients who had been hit with a dangerous chemical, into contamination units.
Source:: Los Angeles Daily News
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