Broken Bow Community Disaster Drill Training Exercise

BROKEN BOW—If a tornado or other disaster strikes, is our community prepared? This and more were discussed at Monday’s annual Full Scale Exercise held at the Jennie M. Melham Memorial Medical Center (JMMMMC).

The focus of the exercise centered on improving communication as part of a disaster response plan. Patient Care Coordinator/nurse at JMMMMC and Monday’s facilitator Elaine Price emphasized the importance of identifiable response capabilities between the hospital, the city, the Custer County Emergency Manager, the Broken Bow EMS Captain, and representatives from local emergency management, and long-term care facilities.

“The overall goal is for the hospital to look at their plans and to make sure that the other city departments and city agencies are also looking at their disaster plans to keep them up to date and to work together as a community so if we do have a disaster, that we would be prepared for a disaster,” Price said.

Hospital staff participated in trauma and triage scenarios while other community emergency leaders discussed top priorities with internal and external agencies.

Emergency Response Coordinator Ashley Jeffres, LPN, with the Loup Basin Public Health Department also facilitated discussion to evaluate the transfer of information during a community-wide emergency such as a tornado, severe storm, shooting, or any other disaster involving power outages, injuries, and structural damage.

Approximately 80 community members were in attendance on Monday afternoon. A small scale training will take place in the spring and another full scale exercise is tentatively scheduled for late next fall according to Price. She said the training is a requirement and JMMMMC hopes to expand the training in the future.

“I really do appreciate the turnout we had for the exercise today. It certainly shows a lot of community commitment for disaster preparedness. And we’ll be looking forward to the annual event in 2018,” Price told KCNI/KBBN.

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