I wrote about the faith based disaster/emergency preparedness conference we had a few weeks ago at our church. This past Sunday we were put to the test. Just an example of how smoothly things can go when a community has a plan and lots of folks are willing to work that plan.
In one part of the building, between the worship area and the music rehearsal area, a young lady, a member of the orchestra returning her instrument to storage, had an epileptic seizure and passed out in a small hallway. Since this was after the 2nd service the lights had been turned out as no one had any further business back there at that point. The type of seizure she had is the "passive" type, where the victim simply passes out and stays out, no thrashing about.
Mean while, in the lobby of the building, an elderly lady was leaving the building when her hip popped out of joint and she went down hard and in pain.
We have a central point of contact person who's job it is to coordinate contact with county EMS. He called 911, identified himself and requested paramedics to the lobby area of the building. From prior walk throughs, the EMS people know the general layout of the building. The 1st ambulance is now rolling.
Now the parents of the "missing" young lady are concerned as she hasn't met up with them and they can't find her. After each use of the buildings, a team of men "sweep" the building, turning out lights, checking and locking up classrooms and exterior doors, gently herding stragglers towards home. These teams were notified by business band radio to look for the missing young lady and quickly found her.
Our EMS POC again called 911 and asked for a 2nd ambulance to respond to the north end of the building, reconfirming to EMS this was indeed a 2nd victim, and dispatched men to make sure the doors were unlocked and someone could lead EMS to the epilepsy victim.
Our parking lot workers, who also have radios, made room for the EMS responders.
Our single point of contact with EMS made sure they were contacted once, and only once, about each situation.
EMS understood we had 2 victims in two locations. From prior contact EMS has surveyed our campus and know exactly were the lobby area was, and had a general sense of where the music area was.
Our sweep and lockup team, who clear the building of people and then lock up the exit doors (among other things) responded quickly when asked, and followed their instructions exactly.
We had a POC with our EMS. They know each other face to face.
EMS had toured the buildings and get a refresher periodically.
We had radio contact with the sweep team (and a bunch of other people, too)
Because we had a plan, or a least some idea what to do, the response came off quickly and smoothly with minimal disruption. The victims and their families received assistance and comfort as soon as possible.
All in all, I thought we did pretty good.