When LewisGale Hospital Montgomery in Blacksburg learned of the fatal shootings at Virginia Tech’s campus they initiated a disaster alert.
Elective surgeries were canceled.
For an hour and half area EMS personnel were told to take any other medical emergencies elsewhere.
Two additional surgeons were sent to the hospital from LewisGale’s sister hospitals in Pulaski and Salem. And additional staff members were told to be on standby.
These are all part of the hospital’s long-standing disaster alert plan.
In the end, no Virginia Tech shootings victims were brought to the hospital, said LewisGale spokeswoman Nancy May.
Disaster plans are an active part of any hospital system, and the Blacksburg hospital played a significant role in treating victims during the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings that claimed 33 lives.
Even with the real life experiences, the hospital still tests its system routinely throughout the year.
Today, the hospital was in the midst of a drill, testing its disaster alert plan, when the shootings occurred, May said.
“They were already well into it,” she said. “Then they got another phone call alerting them to the real situation.”