SPRING VALLEY — In May of 2013, residents of a Spring Valley Horizon House residential home experienced first-hand how a real disaster response would play out.
The exercise was a combined effort among Spring Valley emergency services, St. Margaret’s emergency room staff, and Horizon House residents and staff in preparation for handling people with disabilities in a disaster situation. In preparation for the drill, staff from the hospital and Horizon House worked with eight residents and one staff member from a residential home in east Spring Valley to prepare for the mock disaster. Many of the residents were excited and nervous about preparing for the day, and they also were happy they could assist EMS and hospital staff in preparing for emergency situations.
A situation of an exploding furnace that injured several people and rendered the staff member incapacitated was chosen as the mock drill. The drill then was played out as a resident called 911, fire and police vehicles arrived at the home, EMS carried out victims and they were transported to the St. Margaret’s to be worked on by emergency room staff.
Because of that drill and all the preparation that went into it, Lisa Clinton, St. Margaret’s director of occupational health and safety, was recently honored with an award from the Horizon House at their annual recognition dinner. The award is in appreciation of her efforts to increase the safety of people with disabilities in our community.