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A portable hospital in an emergency

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on November 16, 2010 with No Comments

If our community ever experiences a natural disaster or medical crisis that would cause an influx of patients, Porter Hospital is prepared. With the recent investment in a new portable hospital and the acquisition of an emergency advisory radio station, Porter is now equipped to provide care in even the most daunting scenarios.

Porterís surge hospital is the only emergency facility of its kind in Northwest Indiana.

It is designed to assist when there is a surge in the number of patients needing care and treatment.

The 22-by-42-inch inflatable, self-contained mobile unit is equipped with a heating and cooling system, electric generators, lights and 16 portable hospital beds ñ making it perfect to assist year-round.

ìIf Porter were damaged by a tornado or say a train wreck occurred in the area with many casualties, we can have the surge tent inflated in approximately eight minutes and operational in 20 to 30 minutes,î Gary Atherton, director of emergency medical services at Porter Hospital, said. ìThe whole thing breaks down and is stored in a 26-foot trailer, so we can transport it off-site.î

He also said the surge hospital could be used to provide pandemic triage away from the hospital to avoid the spread of disease, or as a warming area or cooling shelter in cases of disaster.

Another recent addition to increase Porterís emergency preparedness is RadioSTAT ñ Porterís

Portable Emergency Advisory Radio Station.

Jim McClanahan, Porterís director of security and safety, said RadioSTAT allows the broadcast of critical instructions regarding disasters, evacuations, infrastructure failures, traffic information, and more. The radio signal for Porterís RadioSTAT is 1610 AM.

The signal broadcasts over a three- to five-mile radius of wherever the antenna is located.

ìWeíll use this any time an emergency comes up,î McClanahan said. ìFor instance, last year we had a huge snow storm that severely impacted Porter associates. If we encounter this type of weather system today, we can broadcast messages to assist in informing our associates about facility operations.î

Soon, RadioSTAT will begin broadcasting continually on 1610 AM with messages of the public service type, but will change as time goes by.

ìThe beauty of this is that we can transmit anything affecting the hospital operations. Itís a great way to keep everyone informed and safe,î McClanahan said. For more information about Porter Hospital and their emergency preparedness initiatives, call 263-4600, or visit www.porterhealth.com.

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