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OMC Director of Emergency Preparedness Participates in National Emergency Response Training Program

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 Management Agency’s 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.

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