SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Hospitals in our region said they are ready to respond to just about any incident. Both Mercy and Cox said that preparation requires a variety of things including training, expertise, resources and community involvement.
“We believe it’s not if it happens it’s when it happens,” said Russ Conroy, Mercy Director of Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
Conroy said Mercy Employees train four times a year for active shooter situations.
“You’re looking at community unrest because of what was going on and you’re looking at what we call a mass casualty incident,” said Conroy.
Conroy said a mass casualty incident can be anything from five people involved in a crash to several hundred injured in an event such as the Joplin Tornado.
“Both hospitals are level one trauma centers so consequently, they do have the expertise and the resources to handle those things,” Conroy said.
“When we built the south emergency department we looked at what additional capabilities can we put into place in the existing day to day environment that would help us during a situation that has mass casualties,” said Jason Henry, Cox Health Corporate Emergency Management Officer.
Henry said Cox Health can go from treating 60 to 180 patients as soon as an incident occurs.
“How do we treat and care for these individuals, where can we put them and comfort them and make sure that they have shelter and food and all of these things to care for them during the incident,” Henry said.
“We’re looking at blood supply. Where can we get more blood? Where are we going to get more beds? How fast can I clean those ER beds to get the next patient into them,” said Conroy.
Both Hospitals said if a traumatic situation occurred in our region Springfield would be a place to go.
“Do we hope and pray it never happens? Yes, mam. But do I think we can handle it? Yes, mam,” Conroy said.
“Because of the community involvement and our involvement in the other structures, the tiered structures, for the response I do think that we are ready and able to respond to just about any incident,” said Henry.
Conroy said Cox and Mercy work closely together. Henry said that having two level one trauma centers so close in location increases our readiness for traumatic situations.