Gilbert Perez, plant operations and security manager for Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville, was one of the group sent March 11-15 to the Center for Disaster Preparedness in Anniston, Ala., to learn more about incident management, natural disaster response and more.
“I was really impressed with the facilities there,” Perez said after returning. “They had some great instructors teaching us about the framework of emergency management.”
The group trained at the Noble Training Facility, the nation’s only hospital dedicated to training health care officials in disaster preparedness and response, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The building is a converted Army hospital, aimed to give health care professionals real-world training for biological or chemical disasters, natural weather events and acts of terrorism. The training course is federally funded, at no cost to state or local emergency professionals.
Responders participating in the emergency training gain critical skills and confidence to respond effectively to local incidents, federal officials said in a news release.
Perez said one of the most interesting scenarios the group worked on was responding to a simulated outbreak of the Ebola virus. They had to quickly outline an emergency response plan, designate a media spokesman and work to contain the simulated outbreak. The training experience also was a great way to exchange ideas with other health care officials, Perez said.
“It was a great chance for networking to meet professionals from around the U.S. and see how they handle events,” he said. “We learned how to work together to get things done properly and in the right way,” Perez added.
More information about the training can be found at the facility website: http://cdp.dhs.gov.