Crisis exercise tests paramedics, children’s hospital on rescue, transport and intake
The crisis management exercise, aimed at testing the abilities and teamwork of Tallinn ambulance crews and Tallinn Children's Hospital involved a scenario in which a fire had broken out in another hospital, from which fifty children needed to be rescued, triaged, and transported to the capital city’s children’s hospital for intake and treatment.
Dr. Arkadi Popov, director of the Ambulance Centre at the North Estonia Medical Centre (PERH) and chief organizer of the crisis exercise, explained that, according to the exercise scenario, a fire broke out in a Tallinn medical institution where many children were being treated.
“The fire is being fought, rescue work is underway, and many children are evacuated,” described Dr. Arhipov. “Ambulance crews accept [the children] from rescue workers." Police and the Rescue Board were not included in this exercise, however; their parts were played by medics as well.
All children rescued from the imaginary fire were transported to Tallinn Children’s Hospital.
“It is critical for emergency medical staff that we are able to practice getting hospital patients to treatment,” explained Dr. Arhipov. “The management of treatment for mass casualties is a big challenge for us; we are testing the hospital’s capabilities on how many patients they can accept and how quickly they can do so.”
Participants in today’s crisis exercise included Tallinn Children’s Hospital, three ambulance crews from the PERH Ambulance Centre, two ambulance crews from Tallinn EMS, and one crew from Karell Ambulance. Rescuees were played by made-up children, most of whom were students from the city’s private Audentes School.