Mile Bluff joins National Guard for emergency response exercise

Large amounts of flooding and devastating tornadoes led to a medical emergency for Juneau least that is what employees at Mile Bluff Medical Center acted out the third week in July.

Working closely with the National Guard and the Red Cross, Mile Bluff successfully completed PatriotNorth19. The event was a training exercise that provided realistic experience in responding to the emergencies that follow a natural disaster.

Patriot took place over the course of two days. Staff members throughout the facility were challenged in a variety of ways. On day one, they received more patients than there were beds in the emergency room. They overcame a loss of power that shut down phone lines and internet access. They extended their resources when food and supply shipments were unable to reach the building. On the second day, the medical center received even more patients due to an apartment fire.

The Mile Bluff team was able to handle each obstacle. All of the tasks were accomplished successfully, ensuring the great care and safety of patients remained the number one priority.

Throughout the event it was clear that all roles were important in an emergency response situation. Employees were pulled from different departments to fill roles that they would not typically be found in. From accountants to nurses, all jumped into action and filled in where they were needed. It wasn’t unusual to see a cafeteria worker comforting a concerned mother in the emergency department.

The Patriot exercise provided a lot of value to the Mile Bluff team. The two-day event offered realistic experience with emergencies that went beyond the every-day patient flow. The hands-on element taught more than could be learned in a classroom setting. Emergency response methods were put to the test. Opportunities for improvement were identified, and channels of communication were strengthened - within the Mile Bluff organization itself, and with outside agencies.

It is important to Mile Bluff that staff members are prepared with the knowledge and skills to not only improve their response in a large-scale emergency, but to also continually improve the overall care provided daily. Federal-level emergency or not, you can rest assured knowing Mile Bluff has your back.