Published: 04/24/2013

Evangelical Safety and Security Staff Attend Homeland Security Training

Gregg Rokavec, Director of Environmental Safety and Security at Evangelical Community Hospital along with Stanley Hudson, Safety and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, recently returned from a five-day course on Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents put on by the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP).
The CDP is operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and is the only federally-chartered Weapons of Mass Destruction training facility in the nation.
The Health Leadership course, held in Anniston, Alabama, the week of April 15th, exposed healthcare professionals to the dynamics involved in the decision making processes during an all-hazards disaster involving mass casualties.
The course used a combination of lecture and exercises to provide responders and receivers foundational information on which to base critical decisions during a fast-paced, final exercise to test their abilities. The scenario involved a small domestic terrorist organization carrying out multiple attacks on a fictional city, resulting in more than 300 injured people needing immediate triage and treatment. A combination of role players and state-of-the-art human patient simulators were used for training.
Evangelical Community Hospital holds monthly meetings of its Incident Command Team; a committee of employees pulled from various departments and specially trained to jump into action when an incident requiring a response occurs.  The team is led by Rokavec and Hudson and trainings, such as the one put on by the CDP allow them to bring back valuable information to the team to implement in the Hospital’s own Comprehensive Emergency Response Plan.
In August of 2012, Evangelical Community Hospital’s Incident Command Team held a HazMat/Mass Casualty exercise testing the team’s ability to work with outside emergency response agencies as well as to evaluate the protocols that are in place at the Hospital.
The CDP develops and delivers advanced training for emergency response providers, emergency managers, and other government officials from state, local and tribal governments. The CDP offers more than 50 training courses focusing on incident management, mass casualty response, and emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist act.
Training at the CDP includes healthcare and public health courses at the Noble Training Facility, the nation’s only hospital dedicated to training healthcare professionals in disaster preparedness and response.
Evangelical Community Hospital is a non-profit organization that employs approximately 1,300 people and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 127 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Lycoming Counties.