It's only a test: Drill planned at Hobart hospital

2013-09-07T00:00:00Z It's only a test: Drill planned at Hobart hospitalDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | St. Mary Medical Center is conducting a mock disaster drill from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, officials said.

The drill is a collaboration among 13 other hospitals in a five-county area comprising District 1, said Robert Boby, EMS manager at St. Mary Medical Center. 

"Our hospital and the others taking part will be playing out the same or similar scenarios," Boby said.

The scenario at St. Mary Medical Center involves a civil disturbance at a local fair and several victims from a riot situation.

During the riot, several people are trampled and injured and some are exposed to tear gas.

"We're testing out ability of decontamination and then also our ability to handle a surge of patients," Boby said.

Those taking part in the mock disaster at St. Mary Medical Center will include the hospital staff, Hobart police and fire officials, and students from Hobart High School.

The student volunteers will portray victims of the disaster, Boby said.

In addition to the basic scenario, there are plans to throw some surprises to those taking part.

"There may be some power outages, unruly or illegal activities. There will be different challenges," Boby said.

The hospitals that comprise District 1, in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper and Newton counties, meet on a regular basis to discuss disaster preparedness and go through basic training.

The hospitals hold one large-scale mock drill each year to prepare in case there is a real scenario, Boby said.

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