Anchor script: Kent State University is being proactive and collaborating with Portage County’s Health Department and Emergency Management Agency to stage a mock disaster exercise. Reporter Gabrielle Payne is here to tell us more. Gabrielle?
During emergency situations, it can be very challenging for health workers to rapidly distribute antibiotics to the masses. If more facilities could handle the undertaking, more lives could be spared.
Kent State’s College of Nursing and College of Public Health partnered with Portage County’s Emergency Management Agency to hold a disaster simulation with the purpose of preparing students for an emergency outbreak.
When the Ebola scare spread across campus in October, many Kent students responded with fear and paranoia. During times of panic, the community look to health officials to soothe their worries. “You’re under a lot of stress as staff. But you stay collected and do everything you can to calm the individual,” says Director of the Emergency Management Agency Ryan Shackleford.
Volunteers signed up to be “victims” who showed symptoms and required immediate treatment. Because communities are full of diversity, each victim received a different role to play. Some were non-English speaking citizens, others were disabled, some had children, and one (other than myself) acted as a reporter.
The purpose of rapid distribution is to treat as many victims as possible within a short time frame. The volunteers rotated between four “point of dispensation” stations where they followed the procedure outlined in Portage County’s disaster plan.
The disaster simulation gave students the opportunity to prepare, inform, and learn how to react appropriately to future trauma. Senior nursing major Kory Krieger says the exercise was beneficial in teaching the students to “keep calm and under control if there is an attack.”
The event, held at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, is set to take place again on Thursday April 16th.
For more information on Portage County’s disaster plan, visit the Emergency Management Agency located at the Justice Center in Ravenna or call 330-297-3607.
For Broadcast Beat Reporting, I’m Gabrielle Payne.