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Carolinas MED-1, the Carolinas HealthCare System’s mobile hospital, is a proven disaster response asset. But its true value lies in its versatility. In early March MED-1 and Carolinas Medical Center-Union in Monroe, NC, teamed with nearly 20 additional agencies in a disaster drill. The scenario was loss of CMC-Union’s emergency department due to a fire.
When it became apparent that the facility would remain closed for an extended period of time due to required repairs, MED-1 was called upon to take the place of the facility. MED-1 clinical and support personnel brought the unit and support vehicles to Monroe, performed set-up, trained CMC-Union staff on its use and helped move patients, portrayed by nursing and pharmacy students from nearby community colleges, from a temporary ED inside the hospital.
Monroe Fire Department personnel had the opportunity to sharpen their skills in evacuating hospital patients and the Red Cross served lunch. For Carolinas MED-1 leaders it was an opportunity to “write the book” on how to work with Carolinas HealthCare System (or non-CHS) hospitals that might at some point temporarily lose the use of their emergency department.