Realistic disaster "drill"

Nurses General Nursing


  • Specializes in Education, Medical/Surgical.

There was a train collision about 40 miles from where I live.

THE STATE Newspaper, Columbia, SC

With a nuclear facility, railways, mills and factories nearby, Aiken County fire, police and medical professionals have long prepared for the worst possible emergencies.

That planning became reality early Thursday when a train crash released chlorine gas through the town of Graniteville.

The response, several experts said, went smoothly. But it also might be a best-case scenario for emergency response in South Carolina.

"With SRS there and the hospitals, it was certainly one of the better places for it to happen," said Vincent Van Brunt, a University of South Carolina engineering professor who teaches a course on chemical-plant safety.

"If you are in a truly rural area-not Graniteville-what kind of response you'd get is not clear."

Besides the nine fatalities, at least 234 people went to area hospitals, mainly with respiratory ailments. Of the 58 admitted, 38 remained hospitalized Saturday, five in critical condition.

From all I read this is one time that a true drill simulation saved some lives. The engineer died, as well as a man in his 18 wheeler parked in the lot, most were inside the mill but death was a man in his own house. The death count so far is nine. I hope and pray there are no more. But I am very pleased with the nurses who knew what to do and knew how to decontam.

Don't take your next disaster drill as wasted time.

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