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Emergency planning commission topic

POSTED May 15, 2012 10:49 a.m.

The Barton County Commission was told Monday morning that it is never too early to brace for the worst.
The Barton County Local Emergency Planning Committee, sponsored by Barton County Emergency Management, met April 23 and reviewed plans for the Barton County Health Department,s mass dispensing of vaccines and medications. This would go into effect in the event of a disaster, County Administrator Richard Boeckman said.
If this were necessary in Barton County, coordination and communication between hospitals, emergency medical service agencies, public health and emergency management would be handled through the Barton County Emergency Operations Center, he said. A review of severe weather awareness activities, training opportunities and a recent tabletop exercise were also discussed.
The exercise examined the use of the South Central Hospital Region’s Field Hospital and communications between the Barton County EOC and a local Incident Command Post. Boeckman said a report and improvement plant are in the works based on what was learned.
The 15-bed field hospital was set up at Great Bend Regional Hospital April 18 for the training exercise.
Being aware and being prepared is important for every family to survive severe weather and other emergencies, said Amy Miller, emergency management director. “The old adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, most certainly applies.”
During the severe weather outbreak of April 14 there were many reports of families who had safety plans and emergency kits, and escaped serious injury, she said. The Ready campaign, supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, promotes the education of Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters.
Individual and family preparedness information, as well as preparedness information for pets and business owners, can be found at www.ready.gov and www.listo.gov. Anyone who would like to request a presentation on disaster preparedness for their club or social group is encouraged to contact the Barton County Emergency Management Office at 620-793-1919 or send an e-mail to emermgnt@bartoncounty.org.
In a safety-related item, the commission learned communications personnel also participated in the field hospital drill.
In addition, four 911 employees attended the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials seminar in Hutchinson where they heard several presentations on the latest in communication equipment and techniques. One of the four attended the TERT training that was provided at no cost.  Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce will be a state-wide group of dispatchers that are specifically trained to go to other dispatch centers or the back-up site in Yoder to cover shortages with personnel in the event of disasters or sickness or any reason that local agencies cannot man a communications center.
 

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