If ever there was a time for validating collaboration among healthcare partners, the shooting of concert-goers in Las Vegas is it. For 10 minutes, a gunman shot at a country music festival crowd, killing at least 58 and wounding more than 500. Those attending the 65th International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Conference in Long Beach, California had an opportunity to hear from Ron Turner, Division Chief of Emergency Management and Safety with the Henderson, Nevada Fire Department, who spoke about the level of planning that supported a coordinated response among multiple healthcare providers and first responders.
A combination of standardized EOCs and protocols, development of a rescue task force designed for hot-zone rescue operations, and surge planning among hospitals and public health were all supportive of what Turner describes as a "muscle memory" response.
Lori Hodges, Larimer County, Colorado, Director of Emergency Management, followed up on the keynote address with a discussion on the cascading effects of an incident and how to develop plans that reflect the reality that incidents do not simply end after a successful response. Incidents may have long lasting effects that, if not planned for, can be just as impactful as the event itself.
It is incumbent upon all of us as members of a health and medical coordinating coalition, to review the recent events in Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, and Texas and consider how we would respond as a coordinated entity to a similar incident. What plans are in place or need to be in place for HMCC members of all disciplines to respond effectively and cohesively to both man-made and natural disasters? What conversations do we need to have and who needs to be brought to the table?
These conversations and planning efforts need to continue today in order for there to be a successful, all-hazards, muscle memory response in the future.
To read the entire article on the IAEM Conference Keynote speech, please click the link below.
McKay, J. (2017, November 15). Emotional Keynote on Las Vegas Shooting a Highlight at IAEM Conference. Emergency Management.