Effingham training drill focuses on food illness response

EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Emergency responders carried out a training drill Wednesday at the Effingham County hospital.

It's as close to a real emergency as possible, patients with life-threatening symptoms creating a scenario that tests the Effingham County Hospital and public safety's response.

"We pair up with EMA, EMS, the fire departments the local and state law enforcement departments to assist us and make this a community wide event," said Michael Murphy of Effingham Healthy System. "We get together with them and plan what we are going to do real life scenario."

Nursing students from South Effingham High School played the role of patients with food borne illnesses needing critical treatment.

"Today I was experiencing a seizure and had lower level of consciousness and came in and had a heart attack but made it out alive," said 12th-grader Andrew Rushing.

"EMS brought them in with the assistance of EMA and the fire department," said Murphy. "They triaged them in the field and brought them here. We have 10 emergency room beds and we had 20 kids. It put a big crush on emergency room."

It was an important learning opportunity for all those involved.

"It was a great experience to see how real how quick everything goes," said Rushing. "Just the nature of the seriousness of the drill."

"We always find something we can improve on and like always communications can be better," said Murphy.

The training event also got students interested in the medical field.

"You get to work with some critical cases and making a difference in the life of somebody would be a huge impact, and what you could do in the community," said Rushing.

The drill is part of the joint commission accreditation that Effingham County is required to do each year.

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