Emergency Preparedness

Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH) has an emergency and disaster response program in place to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency situations.  This program is led by the Emergency Preparedness Committee – a multidisciplinary and interprofessional committee, with links to external partnerships such as emergency services, community partners, and local and provincial government.  This committee is responsible for assessing potential emergency situations at HGMH and maintaining contingency plans to address these potential situations. 

Our emergency and disaster response program includes proactive, coordinated, and effective responses to various types of emergency situations, aimed at ensuring the safety and protection of everyone in our facility.  Emergencies are situations that demand a prompt and coordinated response beyond the hospital’s normal operations. 

The primary method for communication in an emergency situation is with an overhead public announcement. This overhead page notifies staff of the code colour and the response plan they should implement to protect the safety of all individuals within the hospital.

Throughout the hospital, you may notice Emergency Preparedness stations that list emergency colour codes and procedures. Staff are trained in the proper flexible response to various types of emergencies through various methods, including regularly scheduled live-action drills or “mock codes”. 

While you are at HGMH, if you hear an overhead notification of an emergency situation or drill, please remain calm and follow staff direction.  Stay with your family or support network unless given other instructions.  Our staff will ensure you and your loved ones remain safe during the situation.  Once you hear the “ALL CLEAR” over the public address system, you may continue with your normal activities.

Emergency Codes at HGMH

An emergency code is a notification of an event that requires immediate action. At HGMH, each emergency code is identified by a standardized colour, as supported by the Ontario Hospital Association, to allow for uniformity among hospitals in the province. This standardization allows the hospital to convey essential information to the responding code teams to ensure optimal response, while also preventing unnecessary stress or panic among patients or visitors to the hospital.  The colour code system allows HGMH to have a concise means of ensuring staff receive a common message, signalling the need to activate an appropriate response to the situation. 
  • Code Red – Fire / smoke
  • Code Orange – External disaster
  • Code Orange CBRNE – Disaster involving some form of contamination (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, or Explosive)
  • Code Yellow – Missing person
  • Code Green – Evacuation
  • Code Blue – Medical emergency
  • Code Purple – Hostage situation
  • Code White – Violent situation
  • Code Silver – Person with a weapon
  • Code Grey – Failure or loss of critical infrastructure
  • Code Black – Bomb threat or suspicious object
  • Code Brown – In-facility spill or hazardous release

Preparing for the Unexpected

Emergencies can strike anywhere and at any time. In the spirit of proactivity, we encourage you to have your own household emergency preparedness plan. Both federal and provincial government agencies have excellent online resources to help you build your own plan, survival kit, etc. Please explore the links below to ensure that you and your loved ones are prepared for emergency situations in the community.


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© 2018 Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital, 20260 County Road 43 Alexandria, Ontario K0C 1A0

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