Four victims have been identified from a fire that destroyed a senior citizens home in West Chester, PA.  All apparently died of smoke inhalation but the case remains under investigations as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Fire was through the roof when responders first got on scene which made evacuating 133 elderly patients and 15 staff members very difficult.  The result was four dead and a pile of rubble.  What long term facilities and responders in your community are doing in pre-incident planning, emergency preparedness and training is now a monthly hot topic for the OIG.

As reported by The National Law Review, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (the “OIG”) has decided to update its Work Plan monthly. Health organizations are advised to use these monthly updates to review and update policies and procedures based on the OIG’s areas of interest and enforcement priorities.

In October of 2017 the OIG listed the following as an area of concern to work on.  Determine Nursing Home Compliance with Updated Life Safety and Emergency Preparedness Requirements (Added October 2017)
CMS recently updated its health care facilities’ life safety and emergency preparedness requirements to improve protections for all Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, including those residing in long term care (“LTC”) facilities. These updates include requirements that facilities install expanded sprinkler and smoke detector systems to protect residents from the hazards of fire and develop an emergency preparedness plan that facilities must review, test, update, and train residents on annually. The plan must include provisions for sheltering in place and evacuation. The OIG will determine whether LTC facilities that received Medicare or Medicaid funds complied with new federal requirements for life safety and emergency preparedness for the period May 4, 2016, through November 15, 2017. Such facilities should review compliance with the life safety and emergency preparedness updates and maintain documentation of the required improvements.

If your healthcare facility needs assistance in creating, updating or auditing your life safety and emergency preparedness plans (EOP) or conducting training, contact Blazemark at 800-965-0041 or email The creators of Blazemark pre-planning software,, has extensive experience in preparing pre-incident plans for government and business.  This experience also includes incorporating plans into tabletop exercises and full scale drills where all stakeholders can learn and practice skills in preparation for natural disasters and man made incidents.  Get more information at

Click here to learn more about OIG requirements.

Jamie Haddon has nearly 30 years of emergency service experience, serving six different fire/ems/rescue departments and obtaining a graduate degree in Public Safety Management. He also has extensive community building experience as a Major Gift Fundraiser in the non-profit world and has served as the President and CEO of the United Way of Bucks County before joining You can follow him on social media @JamieHaddon and @getBlazemark