Waimea hospital to participate in RIMPAC


North Hawaii Community Hospital will participate in the Rim of the Pacific maritime drills on Friday.

“NHCH will work with other agencies and hospitals to test communication and coordination of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts,” said Jennifer Rabalais, NHCH’s Assistant Emergency Management coordinator, in a news release.

“Participating in RIMPAC will provide us with an opportunity to test the hospital’s ability to handle the simultaneous arrival of multiple trauma casualties,” she said.

In addition, 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 four NHCH employees will fly to Honolulu, where they will simulate injured patients for the purpose of training emergency response teams and other medical and military personnel. After passing through a simulated triage process, the “injured patients” will be transported to NHCH for care via a military Black Hawk helicopter.

The international exercises around the Hawaiian Islands run from June 26 to Aug. 1. This is only the second time in RIMPAC history that U.S. hospitals have been involved in the maritime exercise. Twenty-two nations, 49 surface ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating.