FAIRBURY – Jefferson Community Health Center is pleased to have been a part of a joint exercise today with local and area law enforcement and emergency medical services. The exercise simulated active shooters at The Fairbury Clinic and Jefferson Community Health Center. While we hope this is training our community will never have to use, we believe the training is very valuable to all staff members of all of the participating agencies.
Medical staff members were given an opportunity to think about their actions if it had been a real emergency. Emergency crews were given an opportunity to practice triage and transportation of those injured. Law enforcement was given an opportunity to practice emergency response to an active shooter, including investigation and followup.
“The exercise was a very positive experience, and we appreciate everyone who participated,” said John McKee, Jefferson County Emergency Manager.
As in any exercise, lessons were learned which can benefit all types of future emergencies.
“We learned ways we can improve our emergency response, to better protect our employees, patients, visitors and customers,” said Judd Stewart, JCHC emergency preparedness director. “We were also pleased that observers noted that the JCHC staff knew the procedures which are recommended for this type of an incident and responded appropriately.”
The exercise also gave Jefferson County a chance to use a tracking system which can be used for volunteers, patients, equipment, and time. This information would be very valuable, particularly in certain types of disasters where federal dollars might be requested for disaster assistance.
This is the first such exercise that we are aware of at an area health care facility, McKee said.
The full-scale exercise include 87 participants from southeast Nebraska emergency management, emergency services, law enforcement, fire, and health care organizations. At least 25 JCHC staff members were direct participants in the exercise.
“We would like to thank all of the participants and the organizations which made this exercise possible. We would also like to thank the community, our customers and area media for their support and understanding as we hosted this exercise,” said Lana Likens, director of public relations at JCHC. “We appreciate that our community realizes that practice of response to various emergencies is critical.”More