Vigilant about vulnerability |

Vigilant about vulnerability

Photo by Ryan Salm/Sierra SunTahoe Forest Hospital Emergency Department Director Bev Brink looks through the emergency preparedness manual in the hospital's store room.

Tahoe Forest Hospital understands its unique vulnerability and has been involved in staff emergency response and evacuation education and training programs for years.

Every three years the hospital collects data through a “vulnerability study” that pin-points the community’s highest risks. The information gathered is then used to plan a minimum of two large-scale exercises every year that focus on those issues, said Bev Brink, director of the Tahoe Forest Hospital emergency room department.

These exercises usually coordinate with the town’s preparedness exercises.

In the event that an evacuation of the 67-bed hospital is necessary, Brink said that patients can be taken via school bus or other public transportation to a number of town facilities, including school gymnasiums and churches, or to the Incline Village Community Hospital.

“We have a general evacuation policy and procedure,” Brink said. “If it’s something large, it would depend on the severity of patients whether they could be airlifted out. We could also get them out by ambulance or bus.”

Should it be necessary for staff and patients to stay in the hospital for a prolonged period of time, stockpiles of water and food to last a full staff and patient load are in place to last four to five days. There is enough diesel to run generators for five to seven days, and 7,000 doses of antibiotics, Brink said.

” Christine Stanley

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