New Hampshire healthcare professionals gain hands-on experience at CDP

Approximately 50 healthcare professionals from New Hampshire hospitals recently attended the Hospital Emergency Response Training and Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents courses at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Ala.

The New Hampshire healthcare workers, representing 17 hospitals in 17 communities across the state, joined students from 12 other states who took training at the Noble Training Facility that week. The training included live people with simulated injuries and wounds to give a hands-on experience.

"If we don't train, we're not going to be prepared," Amy Matthews, the director of critical care and emergency services for the Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, N.H., said. "We were able to highlight problems in our own facilities and initiate or change plans for a real event. We learned from each other and shared ideas. I have a face to a name and will work more closely with my coalition hospitals to plan, problem solve and hopefully work together in a joint exercise in the future."

Each of the scenarios during the CDP training focused on incident management, mass-casualty response and emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist attack. The instructors incorporate the use of modern equipment, including the activation of a hospital's Emergency Operations Center.