North Hawaii Community Hospital staff members Mike McCool, emergency room registered nurse, Julie Stanforth Zanoff, director of Surgical Services, Johanna Gibson, imaging CT technologist and Rick Baskin, ER clinical leader participated in the RIMPAC simulation exercise on July 11. The NHCH staff members helped with the world’s largest, multinational, maritime exercise, known as RIMPAC. More than 22 nations participate in RIMPAC, which takes place in and around the Hawaiian Islands from June 26 to Aug. 1. This is only the second time in RIMPAC history that U.S. hospitals have participated in the maritime exercise.
The four NHCH employees were chosen, via lottery, to participate in a RIMPAC exercise meant to simulate the evacuation of patients to island hospitals after a hurricane hits the fictitious island nation of Griffon. The NHCH employees flew to Honolulu, where they were moulaged with mock injuries for the purpose of training Emergency Response Teams and other medical and military personnel, to simulate “injured patients”. After passing through a simulated triage process, the “injured patients” will be transported to NHCH for care via military Blackhawk helicopter.
This year’s RIMPAC exercise is the 24th in the series that began in 1971. Forty-nine surface ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate. The 22 nations represented include: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.