October 19, 2018

Emergo: Critical Incident Management

This week, Northern Health hosted an Emergo exercise.

Emergo is a mass casualty simulation exercise facilitated by the Department of Health and Human Services and Ambulance Victoria to evaluate an organisation’s incident management systems, disaster preparedness and resilience.

The simulated ‘code brown’ disaster was a train crash on the Epping line, including a fire and suspected terrorist involvement.

Over the duration of the exercise, Northern Health received 121 casualties into the emergency department, with some managed in emergency, others referred to ICU and theatre, and some being transferred to other health services.

The simulation included complexities involving resources, such as running out of ventilators and blood.

A full Incident Management Team was formed, and functioned throughout the entire exercise.

Clinical staff and support services were based on the third floor of Northern Centre for Health Education and Research (NCHER) and worked through the triage, transfers, admission, care and discharge for each of the ‘patients’ which were presented relentlessly by Ambulance Victoria.

The exercise also involved the preparation and provision of media releases and a press conference, with Chief Medical Officer, Dr Alison Dwyer, as the spokesperson.

The simulation was followed by a formal debrief session with staff and Emergo facilitators.

The Northern Health facilitator of the event, Jason Cirone, said we received very positive feedback on our performance, and expressed his appreciation to all staff who were involved.

“The Emergency Planning Committee would like to thank everyone involved in the planning and all those who participated on the day.”

“The exercise has reinforced our critical incident management systems and processes, and our confidence in managing a real external disaster,” he said.

Debriefing session at NCHER