SOLEDAD — Eden Valley Care Center practiced earthquake scenarios and safety Oct. 18 during the annual Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill.
The ShakeOut Drill started with an alarm notifying staff that an “earthquake” had just occurred. Eden Valley had designated staff members check on patients and simulate scenarios of what could happen in an actual earthquake. In one room, a patient might be suffering from a sprained ankle, while in the next a TV could have fallen on a staff member.
The staff had to figure out what tools they needed and even figure out if the patient’s room was in stable condition or unstable. In the scenarios, both rooms were unstable, meaning that patients had to be moved from the rooms.
The patient who had a TV fall on them was in a different situation. They were unconscious and still had a TV on top of them.
The staff had to move the TV off the patient and then the patient had a possible spinal injury making moving them more difficult. The medical staff had to move the patient but without causing further injury.
This was the first earthquake drill Eden Valley Care Center has completed this year.
“We were trying to access the facility and staff preparedness for what we would do in the event of an earthquake,” said CEO David Martinez. “We went through our emergency operations handbook and making sure that we follow the steps.”
After the drill, the staff came together to talk about what went well and not so well during the drill. The meeting would also serve to find areas where the staff could improve on.
“I think the drill went very well,” said Disaster Preparedness Coordinator Celia Firme. “It was very informative and we learned a lot. There was a lot of things that went very well, a lot of the staff performed very well and we found some areas of improvement.”
Eden Valley Care Center recently had its life safety code inspection, where the emergency code operation was analyzed and, according to Martinez, were happy with what they saw.
The Great California ShakeOut is an exercise that is practiced throughout California at schools and places, such as Eden Valley. Because most Californians live within 30 miles of an active fault, scientists are predicting there is a 99 percent chance of a magnitude of 6.7 or greater earthquake striking the state within the next 30 years.