The St. Luke's and St. Elizabeth campuses of Mohawk Valley Health System took part in a region-wide emergency preparedness exercise last week.

The unannounced exercise tested the readiness of area hospitals and local agencies to respond in the event of an emergency.

Part of this year's exercise tested MVHS's ability to evacuate all patients from the St. Luke's campus under the premise a winter storm knocked out the HVAC system.

MVHS planned for the safe evacuation of about 150 patients, to surrounding hospitals including the St. Elizabeth Campus, Rome Memorial Hospital, Oneida Healthcare, Community Memorial Hospital, Crouse Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital. IMT worked closely with area emergency medical services providers to plan for the transportation of patients, as if the crisis were an actual event.

"The safety of our patients and staff is always a priority at MVHS," said Keith Roach, director of Environmental Safety and Emergency Preparedness. "We use drills like this to identify any gaps our system might have in emergency response and to ensure we are always prepared for any type of event."

The exercise was coordinated by the Central New York Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Coalition.

photo courtesy of MVHS