University of New Mexico Hospital employees use CDP training during real emergencies

Employees of the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) recently used training they received at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) to respond to real incidents.

The healthcare workers responded to both a violent demonstration and a helicopter mishap on the roof of the hospital.

UNMH employees said the CDP training helped to guide their responses to both incidents.

"Unfortunately, people don't tend to think about emergency preparedness until something happens," Byron Piatt, the UNMH emergency manager, said. "The timing of our most recent training was incredible. We were very prepared for [these] incidents. Others have now seen the difference in levels of preparedness and confidence and are now extremely motivated to take advantage of the next opportunity."

The hospital did not see a surge in patients during the two incidents, although the Emergency Operations Center was activated at UNMH. Hospital staffers were on standby, however, to care for any injuries as a result of the violent protest.

UNMH staffers have participated in hospital leadership and management courses designed to teach proper response techniques to mass-casualty incidents. Other UNMH employees completed courses in toxic environment response, as well as operations and communications at the CDP facility in Anniston, Ala.