B.C.'s Mobile Medical Unit will be parked outside the Elk Valley Hospital June 23 and 24.

B.C.'s Mobile Medical Unit will be parked outside the Elk Valley Hospital June 23 and 24.

Mobile Medical Unit will make a stop in Fernie

B.C.'s Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) is coming to Fernie.

B.C.’s Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) is coming to Fernie. The hospital-on-wheels will be parked outside the Elk Valley Hospital June 23 and 24 for outreach and education sessions with hospital staff, and to show the community what it’s capable of.

The MMU can be deployed anywhere in the province when disaster strikes or when additional capacity is needed to cope with emergencies or large scale public events. The 16 metre tractor-trailer expands to a 90 square-metre flexible facility with eight to 10 patient treatment bays and can also support planned hospital renovations and outreach clinics.

During its time in Fernie, the MMU will host emergency and hospital staff, physicians, nurses, paramedics and firefighters as they run through training sessions. Teck Coal and Search and Rescue have also been invited to take part in education regarding mass casualty incidents and decontamination scenarios, as well as extreme weather training.

“Anytime we get an opportunity for new learning opportunities and have some new energy come in to the community we like to take advantage of it, as well as benefiting our communities so people know what resources are available to us,” commented Jo-Ann Hnatiuk, clinical practice educator with the Elk Valley Hospital. “Being in the interior, we get forgotten about a little bit from the Lower Mainland, so they wanted to make sure that they had an opportunity to see what it’s like for us out here as well.”

She added, “And, not rely so much on what Alberta has to offer, but see what B.C. can provide for us.”

On Monday, June 23, Elk Valley residents are encouraged to tour the MMU during an open house from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

As an active mining area and a destination recreational spot, Hnatiuk believes the MMU will help bring current and relevant educators to town, benefiting both medical professionals, as well as the general public.

“It’s an opportunity to have excellent education, to know the resources that we have, to actually practice what we are supposed to be doing with the training and to test our plans,” she said. “It’s also to sort of create some interdisciplinary relationships with our community… and just to build that cohesiveness within the Elk Valley.”