Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance stages real-life disaster drills

November 18, 2016

Students play roles of the injured

When disaster strikes, Providence Health & Services, is committed to playing an integral role in coordinating with first responders, treating the injured and helping families reunite. Regular drills at all six Providence hospitals in Southern California help hone skills in managing all types of disasters, preparing for a daunting surge in patients and planning for the unexpected.

In coordination with the California Department of Public Health - Emergency Preparedness Office, Providence Health & Services, Southern California, participated in the 2016 Statewide Medical and Health Exercise. The event focused on testing objectives specifically designed to improve our understanding of response procedures, to build collaborative relationships and to identify areas for improvement before disaster strikes.

At Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance, the hospital administration and clinical staff played out the designated scenario -  a mass casualty incident, in which a freight train derails and spills chemicals. The exercise involved a bus load of students – some seriously injured, some contaminated by the toxins. The “victims” were played by some 70 students from El Camino Community College’s nursing school and Madrona Middle School. To view a gallery of the drill please click here.

Christopher Riccardi, emergency preparedness program manager and creator of the “15 Minutes until 50 Patients” program that was recognized by the California Department of Public Health for Innovation and has been adopted by hospitals across the nation, shared the importance of drills like these.

“Drills like these not only help us reduce confusion and inefficiencies in a mass casualty incident, but help create a systematic process to allow hospital staff to efficiently thrive in the face of a challenging situation, Riccardi said.  “Preparedness is essential for health care professionals in the workplace and at home.”