Fire Emergency in Hospitals
Rico doesn’t understand the need for hospitals and other establishments to conduct a fire drill from time to time. For him it’s just a waste of time and instead of practicing those drills, why don’t the nurses just concentrate on other nursing tasks, after all, with all those work piled up, time has become very valuable.
“Ugh, fire drills. So unnecessary,” Rico whispers to himself as he observes the scenario going around him.
Life is unpredictable. You never know what happens next. One time everything’s okay, the next second it turns out to be a complete chaos. Even the hospital, where patients feel safe because they are surrounded with trained and competent health team, isn’t an exception. That is why it is always better to be prepared especially on what to do and where to go when unexpected events happen, fire for example.
When fire hits, RACE
Unlike any other establishments where you can just leave everything else and exit the building immediately, you cannot just evacuate the hospital during fire. While there are those patients that can very well walk on their own (ambulatory), there are also those who are unconscious and are on life support systems. In most cases, fire plans are provided for staff and other personnel to follow when fire does hit the hospital premises. Usually, it is based on RACE:
Rescue; Alarm; Confine; Extinguish/Evacuate
The first step you have to take during fire emergencies in the hospital is to rescue and remove endangered persons, in this case, the patients. The room that has the fire, the adjacent rooms as well as the room directly across the hall should be evacuated first to a place of safety. Here, those visiting patients/folks must be told to stay with their patients with the doors closed and wait for further instructions.
The person who has discovered the fire must hit the nearest alarm immediately so as to warn the others. Call emergency hotlines, announce a code Red and update them on the location and type of fire as well as your name.
Contain the fire by closing the door of the room with the fire. All patient rooms must also be closed so as to keep the smoke out. Medical gas flow meters in the room should be disconnected and all doors in the fire area should be closed as you leave the room. By containing the fire, you will be given enough time to evacuate the area
For small fire, you may use a fire extinguisher to get rid of it. However, make sure that you are trained to use one so as to prevent injury from happening to yourself. Do not delay hitting the alarm just for the sake of attempting to extinguish the fire.
Fire emergencies must not be taken lightly. All personnel and hospital staff must be knowledgeable of the fire plan and must know how to apply it in real-case scenarios. One’s actions in actual fires can actually make a big difference. It may either turn this unlikely event to either a minor incident or a major disaster.