Be prepared for anything

Training equipment provider Ruth Lee explains the importance for care home providers in planning for emergency scenarios.

Why emergency evacuation planning is so important

No one wants to think about it – but how would your team cope if the worst happened and there was a fire in your care home?

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It’s likely you would have a large number of residents who are infirm, even incapacitated and in need of assistance to evacuate, some may even be bed-ridden.

In the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, buildings which house a large number of residents are coming under closer scrutiny with regards to emergency planning – for good reason.

Preparing a plan

One of the best things you can do to ensure the safety of your residents and staff is to create a detailed and robust emergency evacuation plan. But even the best plan in the world will be ineffective unless your team feel confident they can carry it out.

In a true emergency people can become anxious and flustered, leading to mistakes both in terms of what to do, but also ‘how’ to do it! For example, they may try and lift someone badly, causing injury to themselves or the resident they are helping.

Why training is key to effective emergency evacuation

You should ensure that your staff are able to lift or assist residents safely and efficiently (either manually or by using lifting and transfer equipment) to make sure your home would be evacuated quickly, with no injury to residents or staff. A HSE report on the Health and Care Industry in 2014/15 indicated that each year there are 86,000 self-reported non-fatal workplace injuries, with 27% of these involving lifting and handling.

Regular staff training is key to avoiding injury and using training manikins can be very beneficial. Ruth Lee are experts in training manikins and have a range of products perfectly suited to care home training. Although traditionally, staff would practise skills on each other, using a manikin means there is significantly less risk of injury (i.e. a dummy won’t get hurt if you drop him!). Another benefit is that the whole team takes part (no volunteer required) – and because Ruth Lee have a range of different manikins, from a 20kg Patient Handling manikin, right the way up to a 260kg bariatric or obese manikin, you can make sure your team are trained to help people of all shapes and sizes!

Adding drama – with fire simulation

If you want to create a training scenario which will be remembered for years to come (for all the right reasons) and truly test your team’s ability to react quickly and rationally in a ‘fire’ situation, you might also consider Fire Simulation. At Ruth Lee we can provide a range of fire simulation products, from smoke machines and fake flames, to sound boxes – even burning smell aerosols!

These products are perfect for creating realistic fire drills, or your emergency evacuation training. For expert advice, call Ruth Lee on 01490 413 282 or email mail@ruthlee.co.uk

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