AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Following the disastrous train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, local hospitals are preparing in case something similar ever happens here. 

“So, part of today is helping prepare those hospitals so that when a disaster does happen, they’re ready, but also helping us know how to help them,” Director for the MCG Center for Telehealth Matt Lyon said.

In more rural areas, medical staff is harder to come by.

Two rural hospitals that attended Friday afternoon’s simulation were Candler County Hospital and Emanuel Medical Center.

“In a disaster, you’re overwhelmed– you don’t have enough resources. So, you have to be flexible in your job duties and what you can do. And so, our hope is that telemedicine will bring a person in virtually into those communities to help fill a few of those roles,” Lyon said.

Professionals say working proactively is the best approach.

“It’s really a big course, it helps– it helps make sure that when we leave our city and we’re driving down to another part of our state– we’re going through these rural areas, that if we have an accident or something happens to us, that we’re gonna get good care too,” Lyon said.

And simulation test patients would agree. 

“I know we had a bad spill back in Graniteville and then certainly, the Ohio spill is top of the news. So, again, I think the Medical College is just ahead of things in terms of being proactive for our community,” Simulation test patient Jeff Padget said.

In disasters like these, healthcare providers can expect a variety of different injuries. 

“The main thing that we worry about in a train disaster is trauma, and then if there’s poison or a toxin. And so, today we are practicing tying in with the Georgia Poison Center so that they can help us with the toxins and then tie into our trauma and our critical care so that we can help them with their critically ill traumatic patients,” Lyon said.