FORT WAYNE, IND. – AUG. 24, 2023 – Parkview Health will be conducting multiple full-scale disaster exercises across the health system next week, with the support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The full-scale exercises are designed to validate Parkview’s emergency response plans, policies and procedures by simulating an emergency scenario in which each hospital receives a large number of patients in a short period of time.
Exercises will be conducted over a three-day period, Aug. 29-31, with multiple locations participating each day.
- Tuesday, Aug. 29: Parkview DeKalb Hospital, Parkview Noble Hospital and Parkview Whitley Hospital
- Wednesday, Aug. 30: Parkview Huntington Hospital, Parkview Wabash Hospital and Parkview Warsaw
- Thursday, Aug. 31: Parkview Hospital Randallia and Parkview Regional Medical Center
PLEASE NOTE: For the safety of hospital co-workers, role players and other volunteers, the general public is not invited to attend or observe any of the full-scale exercises. Some activity may be visible to patients and visitors, but the exercises will not interfere with any real-life care.
Parkview is one of 116 locations nationwide selected to receive support from FEMA’s National Exercise Division (NED) in 2023, and one of only five locations in Region 5, which includes Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Over the last several months, representatives from NED have been sharing their subject matter expertise to assist Parkview with exercise planning and development. The team will also help with facilitating and evaluating each exercise.
“Parkview’s Emergency Management program is key to our ability to care for the community, most recently playing a pivotal role in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Donna Van Vlerah, senior vice president, Support Division, Parkview Health. “However, we want to be prepared for all types of emergencies, and training is an essential element. We are grateful for FEMA’s support with these exercises to help ensure Parkview is following best practices and our teams can handle any potential situation.”
The simulated events for Parkview’s exercises were created based on a severe summer storm that impacted northeast Indiana in 2022. Unlike the real-life storm, the simulated weather event will result in mass casualties.
Over the course of three days, the exercises will utilize approximately 400 role players and other volunteers. The exercises are being planned in conjunction with multiple community partners and local, state and federal agencies.
“Parkview strives to serve each of our communities with excellent care for every person, every day – even in the worst of times,” said Mike Eckroth, corporate director of emergency management and business continuity, Parkview Health. “These full-scale exercises will be the largest and most in-depth we’ve ever conducted, coming as close to real-life as you can possibly get in a drill or simulation. We want to demonstrate the importance of emergency preparedness not only for our facilities, but also for our communities.”
Following the events, the NED team will help Parkview complete an after-action review and improvement plan. The documentation will go into the FEMA library to aid in the development of national best practices for emergency management.