A patient comes into the Kane County Hospital with toxic chemical exposure. He/she is initially treated, but some staff members are also exposed to the noxious chemical.

What’s the response? The scenario was practiced on November 4 at the Kane County Hospital. An emergency drill was practiced beginning at 5:30 a.m. to assess reaction and response time.

The state of Utah has acquired four 25-bed tents for use during disasters and emergencies from BLU-Med Response Systems. They will be stationed in four different locations around the state. Dixie Regional Medical Center will have one, the VA Hospital in Salt Lake another, Tremonton and Allen Memorial in Grand County will house the other two.

At 6 a.m., the Kane County Hospital drill was initiated. The administrator and state strike team were notified and requested. Wayne Nielson, PA was on call and told the nurses to start the hospital protocol for emergency response to a mass disaster. The call list was begun requesting appropriate staff to report to the facility. The facility then went into lock down, no one in-no one out.

The patient and exposed staff were placed into KCH’s decontamination tent that was ready to receive the 23 patients and exposed employees, decon estimated at 20 minutes per person. At 7:20, the decon patients were transported to the KCH clinic, which is on a separate air handling system, until BLU MED tents and teams arrive and were functional. At 7:30 a.m., the dietary department had meals ready for responders. By 8 a.m., law enforcement had established traffic control.

The 25-bed BLU-Med Hospital arrived and began set up at approximately 8:44 a.m., with completion around 12:25 p.m. The first section was ready for patient care at 10 a.m.

During the mock disaster, the media was kept informed and had opportunities for updates from the designated public information officer Laurali Noteman. All media questions and information were directed through her, to provide one clear source for disaster updates.

While accommodations aren’t as nice as a Hilton, the Emergency Response Tent displayed at the Kane County Hospital could prove essential for victims’ survival in an emergency.

BLU-Med’s facilities are portable fabric shelters, which enable communities to quickly respond to large-scale disasters with medical facilities when and where needed. The deployable medical facilities provide a clean environment conducive to advanced-level care in any climate for extended periods of time.

A BLU-Med tent can serve as an emergency room, operating room, intensive-care unit, burn unit, or mobile field hospital. They can provide temporary housing, an alternate command center, or be used as a mortuary in a large disaster.

Following the drill, Kane County Hospital department managers met to review the drill and went through the emergency response plans and protocols. Every department within the hospital participated, and every employee was contacted and given opportunity to provide input.