Dumas shooting aftermath has hospitals checking preparedness

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 5:40 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 25, 2022 at 6:27 PM CDT
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WYNNE, Ark. (KAIT) - Hospital employees in Dumas are being commended for their work during the hysteria of Saturday’s shooting, the aftermath has caused hospitals in Northeast Arkansas to go over their emergency plans.

CrossRidge Community Hospital in Wynne is a critical access hospital the same as Delta Memorial Hospital in Dumas. Brian Mattes is the Associate Administrator at CrossRidge, and he says because they are not the biggest, they rely on their network.

“The one thing that we really focus on is that no organization is an island in and of themselves,” said Mattes. “You have your healthcare partners to look out for you.”

Mattes stressed the key to being prepared for an emergency is to have all the right training.

“We do annual drills twice a year one is a full-scale exercise with the collisions and the other one is a functional exercise,” said Mattes.

Functional exercises include being prepared for severe weather, a power outage, and even a flooding situation at the hospital.

Karla Davis is the Emergency Preparedness and Life Safety Coordinator for St. Bernards Health and Wellness, and she says thanks to funding from their partners they can have new technologies.

“With that grant funding we have purchased an ambubus that we use for mass evacuation,” said Davis. “We also have a mobile communication trailer, a 20-bed mobile hospital, as well as a mobile morgue, all new technologies that assistant in emergencies.”

Davis added that their connections with other hospitals, along with having a plan, help in case of an emergency.

“Working together and having those network connections prior to a disaster and having that training helps us prepare for those real-world disasters,” said Davis. “That way, we are not scrambling in the middle of the disaster when it happens.”

The Dumas situation gives hospitals the chance to go over their plans and better prepare for a major event.

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