POMPTON PLAINS - A disaster drill was conducted at Chilton Memorial Hospital as part of an effort to assess the hospital staff's ability to respond to a crisis and to enhance their ability to coordinate efforts with the Pequannock Fire Department and local health and community agencies. According to hospital spokesperson, Alexandra Nolan, on Saturday, April 24, hospital staff members were told a fire had broken out on one of the floors. Staff immediately responded by evacuating people posing as patients to a safe zone, and transporting them to other safe areas of the hospital where continuing care could be rendered, she said "The drill tested the decision-making skills of our administrators, the ability of our staff to mobilize quickly during a potential crisis, and the effectiveness of our emergency notification system," Nolan said. Hospital staff routinely participate in disaster preparation drills with various government and health agencies and community organizations to determine where risks lie, how they can strengthen their level of preparedness to reduce vulnerability, and how they can better coordinate efforts to respond to them, the spokeswoman said. As part of the drill, fire, ambulance, law enforcement agencies and the Office of Emergency Management were notified. An incident command center was set up. Numerous hospital staff that normally work other shifts were called in to provide support. Additionally, several local first aid squads and an ambulance company under contract with the hospital participated in the drill to practice transporting mock patients from one facility to another. A new stair chair to help transport "patients" on ventilators from one floor to another also was tested.