MONTRÉAL, Oct. 9, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal is coordinating a major simulation drill to test the health network's response to a Code Orange. The simulation exercise involves a plane crash in the north part of the island, on a site where there is no road access for emergency services. (This will not be played out.) During the simulation, "victims" will be transported by helicopter to Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal. Depending on their condition, they will then either stay at Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal or be transferred to Hôpital Jean-Talon du CSSS du Cœur-de-l'Île or to Hôtel-Dieu du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM).
With this exercise the Agency wants to test the health network's response, especially those of institutions with designated burn units and trauma centres. The goal of the drill is also to fine-tune the roles of partners, for instance, the Sûreté du Québec and the Canadian Armed Forces in helicopter transportation, and Urgences-santé in receiving and distributing the injured in an event involving many victims.
"A Code Orange is an international code used to signal a catastrophe or external emergency that requires the mass transportation of casualties to hospitals", explains Michel Garceau, the Agency's regional emergency measures coordinator. "The simulation is very important since it will help improve practices already in place."
During the drill the Agency, in collaboration with the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, will produce a training video designed to enhance the skills of Québec's health care workers. This is the third simulation of this scale to take place in the network. The first two were in October 2012 and October 2013.
Services at the emergency departments maintained
During the simulation, the three hospitals will maintain regular services. Measures have been implemented to minimize the impact of the drill in these establishments and to ensure continuity of services for users. The simulation could be interrupted should there be medical reasons to do so.
Many partners involved
The exercise is carried out in conjunction with a number of partners working together to rehearse their emergency preparedness roles.
- Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal: Evaluates the network coordination structure
- Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, Hôtel-Dieu du CHUM and Hôpital Jean-Talon du CSSS du Cœur-de-l'Île: Receive and treat victims
- Urgences-santé: Sets up an assembly point for victims arriving at Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal by helicopter, and distributes victims to medical facilities
- Canadian Armed Forces: Prepares victims (makeup) and transports casualties by helicopter to Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal's heliport
- Sûreté du Québec: Transports victims by helicopter to Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal's heliport
- Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM): Provides crowd control and a sets up a security perimeter
- Société de transport de Montréal (STM): Moves victims to Hôtel-Dieu du CHUM and Hôpital Jean-Talon du CSSS du Cœur-de-l'Île during the simulation;
- City of Montréal: City's emergency management centre liaises with the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough
- Direction régionale de la sécurité civile de Montréal, Laval, Lanaudière et des Laurentides: Liaises with regional partners and various ministries.
Note to journalists
To take images of the helicopters landing, please go to the hospital parking lot at 8:00 a.m. To access the lot, go to the entrance of Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal's emergency room, which is accessible from the main entrance on Gouin Blvd. West. Keep to the right and follow the signs.
8:00: Members of the media arrive and go to the heliport to take images.
8:30: First helicopter arrives.
9:00: Members of the media take images of the victims at the assembly point and conduct interviews with spokespersons from the Agence and its partners.
10:10: Helicopter visit. Spokespersons will also be available for interviews.
11:30: Press conference: Assessment of the simulation drill at the Émilie-Gamelin auditorium at Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal.
Public message: Throughout the exercise, the Agency will remind the public that this is a drill, that the volunteer victims are actors and that services at all three hospitals are maintained.
SOURCE: Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal
For further information: Media contacts: Agence de Montréal, Marie-france Coutu, 514-286-5709; Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, 514 338-3510; CHUM (Hôtel-Dieu), Lucie Dufresne, 514-890-8000, ext. 15380, Pager: 514 860-7110; CSSS du Cœur-de-l'Île (Hôpital Jean-Talon), Sylvie Lantier, 514-495-6680