The Charlottetown Airport and Queen Elizabeth Hospital teamed up Monday to stage a mock emergency, and test how prepared they are for disasters.
The exercise involved staging an airplane crash at the airport. It included a real fire and 40 volunteers playing the part of victims of the crash. The emergency was fake, but the response was real, testing the ability of first responders to deal with the fire and the almost 40 victims of the mock crash.
Hospital CEO Rick Adams said partnering with the airport for the exercise was a good opportunity.
"To test our readiness to respond in the event of an external disaster," said Adams.
It has been about eight years since the QEH ran a mock disaster situation. This was a test of a new disaster plan put in place earlier this year.
The medical staff were directed by Dr. Ron Whalen.
"It's pretty chaotic and there's lots going on and there's lots of movement, and the biggest issue is sort of organizing and directing where everything needs to go," said Whalen.
"We're just tweaking, fine tuning and making it better. This was an extremely useful experience for all of us."
A large part of this disaster plan is knowing which patients should stay and which should be moved to other facilities around the Maritimes. With this experience behind it the QEH will make some adjustments to its ability to rely on other facilities in the Maritimes if urgent help is needed.