SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — On Thursday, several Upstate agencies trained together, preparing for an emergency fire situation at a long-term care facility.
“We want to keep everybody safe and we want it to be a success so that we maintain safety and no one gets hurt,” said Melissa Yetter, the executive director at Rosecrest.
North Spartanburg Fire, Spartanburg County Emergency Management, and DHEC’s Fire and Life Safety Division trained alongside staff at Rosecrest Health.
“If a fire occurred, how would you respond, how would you evacuate the building, how would you put out a fire,” said Derrick Jones, with the fire and life safety division.
The groups practiced skills and prepared for real-life situations, where there could be a fire at the facility.
“It is important that it becomes second nature to my staff. If there was a real disaster, what do you do in order to protect the residents and keep them safe,” said Yetter.
The groups ran through drills and simulated a fire in a patient’s room with smoke and lights.
“We’re training staff on fire response training, which gives us a number of different things that we look at: fire plans, evacuation plans, fire extinguishers,” said Jones.
Some staff also trained inside a triage tent, treating patients. Firefighters also set up trucks, learning the building’s layout and checking roof access.
“We do have some new employees that may not have been here before in the past, on a real fire scenario that we’ve had, so it was good for them to come out and look,” said Daryl Workman, the fire marshal for North Spartanburg Fire District.
Agency leaders said the training was a joint effort.
“We all have the same mindset. It’s saving lives and property conservation,” said Jones.
They also believe repetition creates habits, so crews will be better prepared and ready to work together, during a real emergency.
“If something, heaven forbid, happens, it’s really going to help us out,” said Workman.
Rosecrest health leaders also said after the trainings, they planned to debrief, talk about what went well, and ways to improve. They said this drill is part of a training requirement for long-term care facilities.
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