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Published on May 29, 2013

Crozer-Keystone EMS Leader Attends Homeland Security Training

Robert Reeder, director of Crozer-Keystone Health System’s EMS South Unit, recently attended an intensive, week-long training at the federal Centers for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Alabama.

The CDP is operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and is the only federally chartered Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) training facility in the United States.

“Given all the events that occurred during that week [the Boston Marathon bombing, Ricin in postal mail and the West, Texas fertilizer explosion], the sessions were certainly timely. What we learned was valuable and useful; anything could happen to involve any healthcare facility,” Reeder says.

The week culminated with the participants coming together for Integrated Capstone Event (ICE) training, an all-hazards exercise that focuses on emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist act.

Specifically, the Pennsylvania ICE scenario involved a small domestic terrorist organization carrying out multiple attacks on a fictional city, resulting in more than 300 injured people needing immediate triage and treatment. A combination of role players and state-of-the-art human patient simulators were used for the ICE training. All training costs were fully funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Part of the course also involved learning to train the trainer,” Reeder explained. “That will enable us to hold classes for Hospital Emergency Response Training (HERT) for mass casualty incidents.

“During a disaster – whether of accidental, natural, or intentional origin – hospital staff must be prepared to respond; particularly for the influx of mass casualties. Disasters may involve Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, or Explosives (CBRNE) hazards that will require the decontamination of patients, advanced personal protective measures for hospital staff, and non-traditional measures. The HERT course addresses healthcare response at the operations level for the facility and its personnel.”

For more information about Crozer-Keystone EMS Services, visit here.

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