Training for Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay Proves Beneficial during Hurricane Irma

Story Number: NNS170909-02Release Date: 9/9/2017 10:07:00 AM
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By Joycelyn Biggs, Public Affairs Officer

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay is preparing for Hurricane Irma utilizing skills honed during a recent three-day Hospital Incident Command System training course.

The HICS course took place less than two weeks ago and is designed to prepare hospital leaders for emergency situations. "We cannot wait for an emergency to show up at our doorsteps to prepare," Kevin Robarge, head of operations, NHGB said. "Our consistent training and mock exercises gives me confidence in our capabilities to prepare for and respond to emergencies."

During training, attendees were required to respond to a hurricane. The group sprang into action after receiving the assignment. Positions identified were a finance representative, incident commander, logistics, liaison officer, operations, planning, public information officer and safety officer. Once all persons were assigned to a team, the groups went to work making plans to deal with the emergency.

The finance officer authorized purchase of supplies while a liaison representative coordinated with other commands to barter and borrow necessities were just a few details discussed during the exercise.

Training helps to familiarize everyone with problems that may occur during an emergency and how to overcome those difficulties. It also provides an opportunity to adjust or implement new procedures depending on need, according to Robarge.

At the end of the course, Linda Hill, chief of contingency operations programs, Defense Health Agency, gave feedback to the class on their performance. "This is one of the best plans I have seen," she said.

Capt. Paula Chamberlain, executive officer, NHGB, validated Hill's assessment.

"Our team's response to Hurricane Irma has been stellar," Chamberlain said. "I am seeing expansive plans executed and the smallest details meticulously addressed. I have complete confidence in our capability to effectively overcome any emergency."

U.S. Navy Hospital Guantanamo Bay embraces providing world-class care by maintaining a reputation for sustaining one of the highest patient satisfaction rates of any military treatment facility in the Navy. The patient population of approximately 5,500 includes military family members, government civilian employees and their families, special category residents, contractors, foreign nationals and migrants.

Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 personnel that provide health care support to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, their families and veterans in high operational tempo environments, at expeditionary medical facilities, medical treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, hospital ships and research units around the world.

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Kevin Robarge, head of operations for U.S. Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, provides information to leadership concerning Hurricane Irma.
170906-N-WP235-000 GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA (Sept. 6, 2017) Kevin Robarge, head of operations for U.S. Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, provides information to leadership concerning Hurricane Irma. The preparations ensure U.S. Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay is ready to respond to any requests to bolster Northern Command's support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's assistance to federal, state and local authorities' ongoing relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Navy photo by Joycelyn Biggs)
September 8, 2017
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