Paladin provides support to disaster exercise “Stop the Bus” in Halifax hospitals.
It’s a quiet Saturday morning in the Halifax Infirmary (HI) when the phone rings in the Emergency Department, triggering an emergency response at the hospital and the neighbouring IWK Health Centre for children. It’s the start of Exercise “Stop the Bus” and a scenario where a bus and truck have collided in the city.
The bus is carrying Brownies and their counsellors, and the truck carrying chemicals that have been spilled, causing mass casualties and triggering a “Code Orange” at both hospitals – the universal healthcare code for a mass casualty event.
Paladin Security HealthcareClient Service Manager (CSM) Nik Lorke was involved in the planning with CDHA, as the response included some key roles for our security team at the HI; including traffic and access control, visitor and patient management and other key support elements of the emergency response.
Our HI security team even had four of our staff wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as part of the mass decontamination process, to support the safe management of “contaminated patients” during the exercise.
The mock disaster had to be run alongside a typical “business as usual” day for the site; meaning our regular security staff was unavailable to participate in the exercise. Therefore, eight of our staff - including two from the Victoria General site - volunteered six hours of their Saturday off to provide the security roles in the response and as part of our client service.
Our staff was supported by sixteen students from the Nova Scotia Community College, Law & Security program, who shadowed our staff and participated in the exercise. "Hopefully," commented VP Healthcare Don MacAlister who was heavily involved in the exercise, "there are some future Paladin staff among this group of valuable young men and women as they were terrific!"
The exercise gave us an opportunity to use our Paladin social media platform extensively, with several Paladin participants tweeting photos and updates frequently throughout the event in coordination with the CDHA and IWK communications, and keeping all of our followers across the country updated in real-time.
The #mockdisaster was deemed a great success by the organizers, who noted that this was the first exercise that involved security members, and we received very positive feedback on the day. "In fact," added Don, "Dr Carl Jarvis, one of the co-leaders of the event, told the large group involved in the debriefing that “security was outstanding”! Great work by our Halifax Operations Manager Leanna Brown and CSM Nik Lorke who tweeted throughout the day, as well as all of the Halifax healthcare team who participated."
Watch a video from Global Halifax on the exercise View Here