Emergency Preparedness Work Continues

Emergency Responder leadership throughout the community gathered in September for an Active Shooter Drill. Their continued work is keep the community safer. (Left to right) Collette Culver, RN, BSN; ES Hospital CEO Kristen DeHart; Excelsior Springs School District Communications Director Mark Bullimore; Excelsior Springs Police Department Chief Gregory Dull; Excelsior Springs Fire Department Chief Joe Maddick; Excelsior Springs School District Director of Safety Officer Jeff Kimsey.

An Active Shooter Scenario – Community Discussion was conducted at the hospital. This critical discussion was a first for the community, but the hospital’s Emergency Operations planning hasn’t stopped there. Over the past year, Director of Emergency Preparedness Collette Culver, RN, BSN, has been diligently working to fine-tune formal policies and update plans to ensure that the hospital is prepared to respond to a variety of emergency situations.

The hospital has recently updated their policies related to active shooters, tornadoes, bomb threats, inclement weather, and evacuation plans. Additionally, Culver has revised the hospital’s Emergency Management Program Plan to guide its efforts in the event that the city or hospital faces what so many other communities recently have experienced in real-time.

In the past year, the hospital has taken part in a regional mass casualty exercise and provided its Emergency Department staff with Hazardous Material First Receiver training. They have met with staff from Homeland Security to identify areas of opportunity to strengthen the hospital’s security measures, both in the physical plant and with its Information Technology (IT) programs. Kristen DeHart, CEO shared, “Keeping our patients and staff safe during a weather or terrorist event is one of the most important obligations to our community. I continue to learn from these discussions and training events and know first-hand that our staff appreciate the extra information. Drills and after-event reviews really are critical as the focus of the drills helps us all to be better prepared when/if an emergency does occur in the future.”

While proud of the progress the hospital has made, Culver recognizes that there is still much to be done. Her next focus will be to formulate a Mass Casualty Plan, which will provide staff with guidance on how to prepare for an influx of 50+ patients within 15 minutes. The plan is based on a model produced by the California Department of Public Health. It is utilized already in many larger healthcare organizations. ESH is excited to begin its work on this important plan.

The week of March 6-10, 2023 was recognized as Severe Weather Week. The hospital provided features of Facebook posts to educate the public. Information was distributed directly to the staff, and the team took the opportunity to practice some new techniques and protocols related to tornado drills. Watch the hospital’s Facebook for information and updates.