By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
How would the county respond to Ebola?
Outbreak topic of table-top drill
Placeholder Image

It’s a frightening possibility, but what would happen if there was an Ebola outbreak in Barton County?
Such an incident was the topic of a table-top disaster drill Jan. 7 at Hoisington’s Clara Barton Hospital, sponsored by Barton County Emergency Management. Representatives from hospitals, public health, emergency management, emergency medical services, law enforcement and other local agencies from around the county sat down to examine how officials would respond.
Barton County Emergency Manager Amy Miller reported on the drill to the County Commission Monday morning.
“All in all, we got a lot of good information and had a good discussion,” Miller said. Although an Ebola outbreak may seem far fetched, it is one of many possible scenarios officials must be prepared for.
Responders may think they are prepared, but there are always the unknowns that crop up in an emergency, she said. Adding to the mix is the number of entities involved.
“This is scary,” Miller said.
So, during the exercise, emergency plans from the various players were studied. Lines of communication between local agencies and with the state were also reviewed.
“We need to coordinate our response,” Miller said.
Areas of conversation included how to inform the public without inducing panic as well as how to insolate and quarantine patients.
On Feb. 2, Miller said there would be an after-incident meeting for the participants. The product of that meeting will be an improvement plan that will be submitted to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
The KDHE requires such drills as part of grant applications. The number of exercises required depends on the agency and on whether it is public or private.