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    USNH Guantanamo Bay Emergency Management Training Team Turns Back Log into an Edge

    USNH Guantanamo Bay Emergency Management Training Team Turns Back Log into an Edge

    Photo By Dawn Grimes | Drill Evaluator HM2 Wilbert Kindle to ensure hospital staff have appropriately locked...... read more read more

    (Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command, Guantanamo Bay) For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, NMRTC GB is able to practice large scale emergency response training. The training is a Bureau of Medicine annual requirement and has taken place over the course of a week, effectively running an emergency code response a day. In addition to traditional hospital emergency code response, NMRTC GB has found a way to conduct the training with COVID-19 safety precautions.
    NMRTC has not been able to conduct any emergency response drills since March, when the installation was ordered to Health Protection Condition (HPCON) C training stand-down. With the shift to HPCON B and careful planning, the hospital was able to adapt to new, COVID-revised, emergency responses.
    “In the past, we would conduct these five annual trainings over time either with a scheduled exercise or real-world event. Because of the high turnover rate at NMRTC GB with this drill week, we are working to exceed the annual requirement and perform all trainings events bi-annually” explained Curt Hettinger, Physical Security and Anti-Terrorism Officer.
    This methodology and planning to coordinate and execute emergency response training will ensure that all NMRTC GB staff will have gone through an emergency response training week within 6 months of their arrival to the command. Although it wasn’t planned, Hettinger says there is a benefit to conducting the training in solid week block. In addition to being an efficient and effective, the exercises stimulate a layer of controlled stress that are designed to test a person’s ability to perform under pressure.
    “We’re simulating a situation where participants are under stress and pressure and having to produce a workable result. There are multiple things going on, you have people yelling at you while someone else is calling in a bomb threat or active shooter. The staff member needs to be able to multi-task and be mindful at the same time by being accurately inquisitive, i.e. getting basic descriptions, situational awareness, executing mass notification processes, creating accountability reports, and/or evacuating to specific locations.
    All of NMRTC GB Staff participate in the exercises in one fashion or another and include preparing for response to: a combative patient/person; stolen baby; bomb threat; missing patient/person; and active shooter. It’s important to have a certain level of quality performance while under pressure while conducting the exercises, keeping in mind that the responses to the scenarios are designed for ensuring safety of all the people on NMRTC GB’s campus.
    The criteria for successfully responding to the emergency response codes within the hospital are established by Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and are written by Mr. Hettinger. He explained, “Some parts of the SOP’s are very specific to the code because the response should always include a specific amount of actions and not have as much of an evolving human factor as other codes do. For example getting a description, a call back phone number, making mass notifications, alerting the chain of command, and calling 9-1-1. These types of actions will always happen in all five of the emergency response codes.”
    Evaluating the effectiveness of the drill can take up to ten people depending on the drill. These evaluators will observe how drill participants are employing standard operating procedures in their response and the requirements in each action, safety of the exercise, and ways to improve processes.
    HM2 Caleb Van Zandt, the Safety Officer for NMRTC GB has served with multiple USMC units, participated in this week’s drills, for the first time, as an evaluator. “On the Marine side we always say, train like you fight so doing the drills more often actually will increase your reaction time and your procedures you can hone in on deficiencies are and how to correct them.”
    Unlike Van Zandt, many of USNH GBs corpsmen and technicians are new to the Navy and on their first tour. “The newer corpsman really learn a lot from these sorts of drills which, for many, are the first simulated training exercise they’ve experienced outside of boot camp and A-school,” Hettinger added.
    Preparation for this week’s five drills required coordination and collaboration with Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Emergency Management and Security teams. In all more nearly 2000 man hours across multiple functions were required to write, plan and execute the week long exercise.
    NMRTC GB Emergency Manager Kevin Robarge, said, “The Command places readiness as a top priority and in order to achieve that goal, we have to drill”. The Skipper told us to “make it happen”, and that type of leadership and support enabled us to conduct these drills in the most efficient and effective way possible while minimizing the impact tour ability to provide patient care.



    Date Taken: 10.30.2020
    Date Posted: 10.30.2020 12:12
    Story ID: 382093
    Location: CU

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