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Emergency Drill Planned; Local Volunteers Sought

By Staff | Apr 15, 2008

While the topic isn’t always a fun one to discuss, being prepared for the worst is something that emergency response agencies always plan for. The Palo Alto County Emergency Management Agency, along with Palo Alto County Hospital are planning an emergency drill to test their readiness, but they need the help of the public to do so.

The actual drill will take place on Tuesday, April 22, starting at 3 p.m. in Rodman, and will involve the Rodman Fire Department, along with the Palo Alto County Hospital Ambulance services. A scenario is being finalized involving an incident that will require the transport of victims from Rodman to the hospital in Emmetsburg and the related situations that could arise.

The object of the drill will be to test the readiness plans and procedures for the Palo Alto County Hospital’s Mass-Casualty Plan, as well as the Palo Alto County Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Operations Center plans.

In order to make this exercise as realistic as possible, the assistance of the public is needed for this drill. Volunteers of all ages are needed to fill “roles” in the drill, acting as patients or regular citizens, to allow the health care providers and emergency team an opportunity to see how their planning works. The drill is open to all ages, but minors must have parental permission and a signed release in order to participate.

Anyone who would be willing to assist by volunteering as a patient is asked to contact Kari Lowe at the Palo Alto County Hospital at 712-852-5459.

Volunteers may also contact Palo Alto County Emergency Management Director Mark Hunefeld at 72-852-4997, or by e-mail at paema@iowatelecom.net

While the odds of such a situation occurring are remote, being prepared for such an eventuality is another way that the emergency services of Palo Alto County are able to better serve all residents of the county. Please take the time to volunteer for this drill and remember the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”