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Local Students Help Staff Respond During Disaster Drill

March 13, 2013

Students from the Health Science Charter School in Buffalo portrayed patients during an emergency drill at Kenmore Mercy Hospital on March 13. The ten students were among more than thirty volunteers, as well the hospital staff, taking part in the drill. 

Each student was given a scenario with various levels of consciousness, vital signs and items for them to "complain about" and made up to look their part. Students had to act out the scenario to emergency room staff.  Injuries ranged from headaches and sprained ankles to severe burns and difficulty breathing. 

“The students were able to learn firsthand how quickly hospital staff must respond when a disaster takes place. Students also got a close up view of the emergency room and the equipment,” said Dawn M. Cwierley, public relations manager for the hospital. 

The disaster response drill at Kenmore Mercy was a real-time test of the hospital’s readiness to respond to a sudden demand for services resulting from a community-wide disaster. Routine evaluation of these drills helps Kenmore Mercy make sure it is adequately prepared to meet the community’s needs and provide high-quality care during a disaster event.

“Participating in this drill allowed the students to learn more about how the hospital and the emergency medical services in our community work together during a disaster,” said Nancy Preskop, recruiter for Catholic Health and liaison to the Health Science Charter School.

Each year, Kenmore Mercy hosts students from the school at “M.A.S.H. Camp,” which stands for Medical Academy of Science and Health, which gives the students another inside look at the hospital.  They meet with working health professionals, participate in hands-on demonstrations, and tour various departments within the hospital, to see if a future career in healthcare might be right for them. The next “M.A.S.H. Camp” is scheduled on April 18.  

A special thank you to all of our volunteers, including individuals from the Community Emergency Response Team, students from the Health Science Charter School, and nursing student from D'Youville.

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