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Oct 30, 2003

Fire simulation at K.H.M.H.

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There is nothing that inspires panic as fast as fire. This afternoon the National Fire Service was testing their response to a possible emergency at the nation’s largest health care facility, the K.H.M.H.

Ernest Dominguez, Station Supervisor, Natl. Fire Service

“On arrival at the scene we saw smoke coming from the medical ward of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. On observing more to the southern portion of the medical ward, we saw attendants bringing out casualties and patients from the medical ward.”

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

A total of ten patients had to be evacuated as fire broke out inside their ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The smoke billowing from the building did attract the attention of many, but all fears were quickly calmed as everyone soon discovered that it was only a drill conducted by the National Fire Service.

Michael Middleton, Operations Mgr., Natl. Fire Service

“This was basically one of the biggest exercises that we’ve ever had. As you can see, it’s the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. We had our shortcomings, but I think we did basically well.

Jacqueline Woods

“Now we understand it is the first time the hospital staff and management were actually involved in an exercise. Do you believe an institution like this should at least hold similar exercises several times a year?”

Michael Middleton

“Most definitely because places have a lot of people in it on a daily basis, patients, staff, and visitors. Therefore the staff here at the K.H.M.H. should know what to do whenever there is a fire.”

Jacqueline Woods

“If indeed a case does arise where there is a fire here at the hospital, how difficult would it be to bring that situation under control?”

Michael Middleton

“In the case of a real fire it would be more difficult than a drill. Everyone is aware that this is a drill, so there is not much urgency. But whenever there is a fire, adrenaline rush goes up and some people normally forget what they are supposed to do.”

Michael Middleton

“These exercises are very important. What these exercises do is actually test the operation readiness of the National Fire Service and all other agencies that respond whenever there is a fire.”

Since the simulation exercises started almost three years ago, the National Fire Service has been holding drills at least once a month in each district.

In case you were wondering, the people on the stretchers and with IVs were not actual K.H.M.H. patients, but medical students who volunteered to participate in the exercise. If you need tips on how to conduct emergency drills either at home or at the office you can contact the National Fire Service.

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