Beebe Healthcare, a healthcare system serving southern Delaware, partnered with a number of agencies, including Delaware National Guard, Delaware Division of Public Health’s Emergency Medical Services & Preparedness team, City of Lewes Ambulance, and University of Delaware to host emergency preparedness drills.
During the drills, two scenarios were simulated: a bus carrying special-needs children crashed, sending many to the hospital; and a hurricane approaching the city of Lewes required evacuation of the hospital.
The healthcare system's Incident Command was headquartered at the hospital while an on-site landing team was at the University of Delaware’s Lewes Campus.
The teams communicated via walkie-talkie and cell phones to send "patients" from the hospital to the landing zone where they were met by teams of nurses and National Guard to be transported in two Black Hawk helicopters to Nemours Children’s Health and ChristianaCare in Wilmington.
"It was a broad event that allows our teams to work together and really learn how we could handle this in a real-life situation. We learned a lot and we feel better prepared should this situation arise," said Cheryl Hopple, Beebe's Emergency Management Director. “We could not have accomplished this without the help of the Delaware National Guard, Nemours Children’s Health, the Lewes Fire Department, or the University of Delaware.”