St. Anthony Hospital workers and staff gathered in the command center Tuesday afternoon to prepare for the worst: A terrorist bomb threat and the loss of natural gas.
It was a drill scenario, something the hospital does regularly to make sure staff are adequately prepared for situations with a high threat level. While this was a simulated terrorist scenario, which required staff to check name badges through the hospital among other tasks, sometimes the situations can be natural disasters, too.
Laura Jull, an emergency preparedness coordinator for Harrison Medical Center, was on hand to observe. Eventually, she will work in emergency preparedness with St. Anthony and all the hospitals on the western side of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
“If we needed to resource share ... it makes it a little easier,” she said.
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Drills are important to hospitals because anything could happen. The goal is to “insure (the) staff can operate in a command center environment,” Jull said.
Community volunteers were on hand to play the part of patients that need to be discharged or cared for in order to not disrupt the normal operation of the hosptial.
Eric Waters and Eric Watson of Gig Harbor Fire and Medic One were at the hospital to help out with a simulated bomb threat and a practice evacuation drill in the late afternoon.
Matt Dougall and Adam Blodgett from the Gig Harbor Police Department came to help out, too.
The drills happen about twice a year at all Franciscan hospitals, said Scott Thompson, spokesman for Franciscan.