The Fifth District Medical Response Coalition (5DMRC) is committed to supporting regional health resources such as hospitals, a variety of healthcare organizations and emergency medical services providers to prepare and respond to a variety of disasters and mass casualty incidents in lower southwest Michigan.
Response: Local to National
At the April Coalition Meeting, members heard presentations on response from a local and national perspective. Borgess Medical Center’s Administrative Director of Patient Placement, Julie Maleitzke, presented on a power outage that occurred at the hospital in February of this year. Julie described the activation of incident command, how the facility managed patient care in the dark through the use of flashlights and headlamps and lessons learned from the incident. To add a National level point of view, Ed Holcomb of the Red Cross presented on his experiences responding to the aftermath of a number of tornadoes that swept through Alabama and several other southern states. Ed commented on the national efforts of the Red Cross and other national entities, such as FEMA, that responded to help with recovery efforts. Both great examples of why preparedness and planning are so important!
The Ins and Outs of Active Shooter
On February 20th, Kalamazoo experienced the terror of an active shooter incident. While active shooter has been a hot topic nationwide, having an incident occur locally had an impact across Region 5, leaving preparedness for such events on everyone’s mind.
At the March 8th Coalition meeting, Coalition members heard two presentations about active shooter preparedness: the response from the outside and how to prepare and respond from the inside. Lt. Bob Kirk and Sgt. Wayne Polomcak from Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office of Domestic Preparedness provided insight on what to expect from law enforcement and the external response to an active shooter. Dan Kettenbiel, Dawn Zomer and Kelvin Oliver from Bronson Methodist Hospital presented their findings from active shooter exercises they have conducted in the hospital and how the lessons learned have helped them better prepare staff to be ready. Both presentations sparked great conversation amongst Coalition members on how to better prepare their plans and their facilities. Thank you to everyone that presented for sharing such valuable insight!
Using Lessons Learned to Grow as a Coalition
At February’s Coalition meeting, members heard lessons learned from the recent I-94 crashes that took place near Hartford on January 17th, 2016. Michigan State Police Post 51 Post Commander F/Lt. Dale Hinz , who worked the I-94 crash in 2015 as well, and Lt. Robert Kirk, Director of the Van Buren County Office of Domestic Preparedness , presented the successes and gaps identified during 2016’s round of crashes. A series of 3 separate crashes, involving 52 vehicles and 2 fatalities, an early activation of the EOC and the use of resources were two aspects that went well. A better understanding of EMResource by the EOC and early notification to the hospitals were identified as gaps that are being addressed. As major highways run through the majority of Region 5, Coalition members can use these valuable lessons learned in their own counties to ensure a safer response to these types of incidents. Thank you to all Region 5 partners that were involved in this response and your continued efforts to help keep Region 5 safe!
“Ensuring Readiness, Building Resilience”
The 5th District and Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine had the honor of presenting three posters at the National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference in San Diego, California last week. The conference focused on the theme “ensuring readiness, building resilience,” something we strive for in Region 5. The posters discussed the topics of physician involvement in large crowd events, disaster education in medical school & residency curricula and a review of the I-94 car crash. Each poster was able to highlight the various efforts that Region 5 partners make to ensure that the region is not only prepared for any situation, but should disaster strike – as it did on I-94, that we know how to respond effectively. Thank you to those that traveled to the conference to showcase the readiness and resilience of Region 5!
Region 5 Panel Discussion
Region 5 had the fortune of hosting Jennifer Lixey Terrill, Healthcare and Public Health Policy Specialist and Emergency Management Coordinator for the Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness, at November’s Coalition meeting. Jennifer participated in and facilitated a panel discussion on what types of incidents activate the Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC) and the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC). Region 5 Coalition members Tana Calkins, James Yarger and Tim Owen addressed activations at the local level, covering Public Health Department Operation Centers, Emergency Operation Centers and Hospital Incident Command Centers.
After the panel talked through scenarios that would activate their respective operation centers, Coalition members split into groups and discussed when and how their agencies would activate. Impact on the agency’s workforce, supplies and resources and systems that would be needed were all highlighted during the conversations. Members were left to think about how those activations would change if the scenarios involved terrorism, a nuclear incident or a substance such as anthrax. Huge thank you to all of our panelists, especially Jennifer Lixey Terril, for their valuable input!
Services We Provide
The 5th District MRC is dedicated to not only our coalition members, but the citizens we all serve as well. We accomplish this with educational opportunities for our members and their constituents, as well as grant funding for preparedness efforts. Register now for upcoming courses sponsored by the district via our registration page.
Advanced Disaster Life Support is now in full swing! Please contact our NDLS Page for more information regarding upcoming courses. Current course offerings can be found on the registration page of our website.