About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Fire drill at the hospital
A June 20 drill gave fire and rescue workers and the hospital staff a taste of what it would be like if Stafford Hospital Center caught on fire.
The drill took place on 4W, a patient floor that’s not being used at the new hospital. Fire officials worked with David Pearce, safety director at the hospital, to stage the event. About 25 fire and rescue workers took part.
The call was initially dispatched as a “fire in a commercial building.” Later fire fighters learned that the hospital staff saw smoke coming from a utility closet.
“We completely filled three rooms and the hallway in the west end with smoke that was extremely thick,” said Steve Weissman, deputy chief for Stafford County Fire and Rescue.
Nurses and other hospital workers evacuated four of the six mock patients from the affected areas, using a blanket, gurney and wheelchair. Fire fighters stretched hoses to the “fire” and brought fans, forcible entry tools and rescue packs. They did not use water. Normal operations at the hospital continued while the drill was under way.
All six "patients" were taken to the emergency room for evaluation. In this case, that meant that all they had to do was go downstairs.
(Photos supplied by Mark Stone of Stafford County Fire and Rescue)