The full-scale evacuation of a smoke-filled hospital building is being staged as part of a training exercise for emergency services.
Mock emergency exercise smokescreen will be held at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton on Wednesday 4 September 2013, to test and develop staff emergency training and procedures in a ‘real life, real time’ situation.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff will work alongside emergency crews from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, North Yorkshire Police, Yorkshire Ambulance Services, Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit (MDHU) Northallerton colleagues, and other emergency services to fulfil the various roles that would be found in a typical hospital evacuation.
The exercise will involve a fire in the main building of the hospital. For realism, the exercise will be staged in a vacated ward, away from day-to-day hospital activities. Care of patients at the Friarage Hospital will not be affected.
Around 30 hospital and military staff will pose as patients and staff trapped in a increasingly smoke-filled ward at the top floor of the hospital building. Three fire engines will be in attendance and an aerial ladder platform which allows fire fighters to work at height.
Volunteers will pose as patients, with realistic mock injuries and various levels of mobility and assume the physical condition of the types of patients seen on an average day in the hospital wards.
Donna Jermyn explained: “This will create a scenario which will test all the services’ involved in a fire evacuation situation and provide a realistic training experience.
“Our members of staff are highly trained to recognise the risks that could cause a fire, and they rarely happen in hospitals. However, we must train for a worst-case scenario. The experience we get from this type of event is invaluable and helps us to give patients a better chance of survival in a real major incident.”