Peekskill/Cortlandt EMS Conduct NoroVirus Drill with NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital for EMS week

May 21, 2013

Cortlandt Manor, NY

In recognition of National EMS Week, a group of first responders from Peekskill and Cortlandt Volunteer Ambulance Corps conducted an emergency drill with NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital on May 21 to practice response plans for an outbreak of NoroVirus.

The extremely contagious infection causes diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramping, low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. It can be serious and even life threatening in young children and the elderly.

Justin Costable, EMS Coordinator and Emergency Management Director at HVHC, said that first responders have to practice for all types of emergencies not just hurricanes and train derailments. Since the virus spreads rapidly, emergency rooms without a plan can be overwhelmed trying to respond to dozens of patients seeking treatment. A recent outbreak during a convention at the Hilton in Westchester sickened an estimated 200 people.

Assisting in the drill were a group of community minded senior citizens from the Drum Hill Senior Living Facility in Peekskill who played patients. The mock patients were transported by ambulance and bus to the emergency room staff at NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital where staff worked to triage and treat the patients.

Dorothy Margolies, 93, a resident of Drum Hill, said that she was more than happy to volunteer for a good cause. "I volunteer for many other things in the community," she said. "It’s important that our first responders are prepared."

Also, participating in the drill were members of Peekskill’s Police Department and Office of Emergency Management as well as 60 Control, the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services, who dispatched the calls. The drill was part of a larger regional exercise involving hospitals countywide.

The Peekskill/Cortlandt Agency and NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital were named EMS Agency of the Year by the Westchester Regional EMS Council. The group was chosen from among 60 agencies countywide. They are being honored May 22 at an awards ceremony at Sleepy Hollow High School.

Photo caption: HVHC Emergency Room staff Jemma Martini-Mahon (left) and Rob Iglesias (right) triage residents from Drum Hill Senior Living Center from right to left: Olivia Berger, Howard Taylor and Dorothy Margolies.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the community and to providing quality, comprehensive medical care in a compassionate, professional, respectful manner, without regard to race, religion, national origin or disease category. Offering state-of-the-art diagnostic treatment, education and preventive services, the Hospital is committed to improving the quality of life in the community. In fulfilling this mission, the Hospital will strive to continuously improve the care provided and develop and offer programs, facilities, systems and alliances that most effectively respond to community health care needs. NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital is located on Route 202 (1980 Crompond Road) in Cortlandt Manor, New York. Call 914-737-9000 or visit