OMC Director of Emergency Preparedness Participates in
National Emergency Response Training Program
Dennise Lawson, Director of Emergency Preparedness at Ozarks Medical Center
(OMC) joined more than 110 hospital preparedness professionals from throughout
Missouri in a week-long intensive training program at the Federal Emergency
Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Ala. The attendees participated in one of three core programs:
Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents, Hospital Emergency
Response Training for Mass Casualty Incidents and Emergency Medical Operations
for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Incidents. The training
culminated Friday, Oct. 23, in a simulated catastrophic accident where
all attending disciplines could engage in response, simultaneously.
“This was a very worthwhile training event. The information will
be used to evaluate and improve our current Emergency Operation Plan and
procedures,” Lawson said.
The training took place at the Noble Training Facility — the only
hospital in the nation dedicated solely to training. The facility includes
an emergency department, emergency operations center, intensive care unit,
isolation wards and other facilities and equipment typically found in
a hospital. The responders train as if they were staff members in the
facility to develop the skills needed to respond to a patient surge. The
culminating exercise adds additional complicating factors, such as contamination.
Missouri’s hospitals have invested in improved readiness for more
than a decade. Most hospital preparedness training occurs during normal
hospital operations, which limits the ability of participants to use the
entire facility. The CDP provides unique, hands-on training without the
constraints of practical in-hospital training or table-top exercises.
Readiness is an essential component of hospitals’ value to the communities
they serve. Hospitals’ ability to manage during a natural or man-made
disaster helps support community resiliency and recovery. In addition,
readiness planning, built on the incident command system, is transferable
among many types of emergency and disaster events. Training for all hazards
is the foundation of Missouri hospitals’ investment in preparedness.