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Bulking Up On Preparation: Local Hospital Employee Attends FEMA Seminar

September 02, 2008
Bulking up on preparation Local hospital employee attends FEMA seminar By Chalan Harper Colorado Hometown Newspapers For Exempla Good Samaritan hospital employee Bill Scheetz, the key to any disaster is preparation. Scheetz has been with the hospital for about three years as a member of the central distribution team, which handles hospital supplies, and recently attended his first FEMA seminar on emergency preparedness. Scheetz flew to Anniston, Ala. in July to attend the four-day “Healthcare Leadership and Decision-Making” seminar. “I wish more people from the cities and governments would go and take this course, because it really talks about communication and planning, and that’s a big part of recovering from any disaster,” Scheetz said this week. The seminar dealt with healthcare’s role in the aftermath of emergency situations, from terrorist attacks to natural disasters, as well as the role in relation to the community they serve. The Center for Domestic Preparation, which is considered under the umbrella of Homeland Security, provides a variety of federally-funded training courses for emergency responders in the United States, as well as U.S. Territories, according to a CDP press release. Scheetz was one among a few Good Samaritan employees that were selected to attend the CDP’s training sessions. Topics discussed within Scheetz’s course included communication between community healthcare facilities, as well as working with city departments like fire and police, he said. Communication between departments and facilities, Scheetz said, can be the difference in handling a disaster situation well. For instance, Scheetz said he believed that public health offices often got left out of the communication loop during emergency situations. “I think, just from finding out about other disasters, I think healthcare and public health have been left out of the loops a lot of the time, until it (the situation) is too far gone,” Scheetz said. Scheetz also said he would jump at the next opportunity to attend another course, and would encourage others to do the same. “I would love to,” Scheetz said. “And I would recommend it for anyone else that has a chance to do that ... I would like to see more people, maybe, in our community do something like that. “The more people who are knowledgeable and can assist in a disaster — from the community, city, state — the quicker we can start the recovery process. I don’t know if anyone recovers (from a disaster) permanently,” Scheetz added. To learn more about CDP training, visit http://cdp.dhs.gov.