|Mass Fatality training exercise helps responders before events occur|
|Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:14 PM|
BY LINDSAY MCCOY
VAN WERT - A Mass Fatality Incident Response course provided by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and hosted by the Van Wert County EMA will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 11-12 at Vantage Career Center. The deadline to apply for this informational course is Jan. 30.
“This course is for any local agency or first responder who may have to deal with a mass fatality event,” said course organizer Barb Hoffman. “I encourage anyone who may have to deal with such an event to come and gain critical information essential to all responders.”
This two-day course prepares local response personnel and other responsible agencies and professionals to handle mass fatalities effectively and to work with the survivors in an emergency or disaster. The course covers incident management, mass fatalities, planning before and operations during an incident, establishing a morgue, family assistance support operations and assistance from the federal government.
This will be mainly an informational course but will also conclude with a table-top exercise with attendants playing out scenarios and working together to form a plan.
“It is a very good course,” noted Hoffman, who attended a similar course with the same instructors in 2012. The free course is aimed at a wide audience, all of which may play a part in a mass fatality incident, including coroners, medical examiners, funeral directors, EMA, police and fire departments and EMS.
Currently 57 people are signed up for the two-day course, and there is exactly one week left to apply. Registration can be done at http://ema.ohio.gov/training.aspx by hovering a mouse over the Learning Management System and then clicking on Public Safety Training Campus Login. Create an account and then search for G386 and complete registration. This course is accepted for 14 hours of continuing education by the Ohio Board of Nursing.
“We saw a need to address how a large-scale incident could occur in Van Wert County and how it would be dealt with,” said Van Wert County EMA Director Rick McCoy. “Such an event could include a jet full of people crashing on approach to Fort Wayne International Airport, a greyhound bus crashing on US 30 or a pandemic causing hundreds of deaths in the community. We don’t want to wait until an event occurs to train our personnel.”