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How to Handle Mass Casualties

By: Deanna Bettineschi Email
By: Deanna Bettineschi Email

It’s a sensitive topic, but an important one…how to deal with mass casualties.

“It’s a challenge that can devastate a community if they are not somewhat prepared to deal with it, because it does happen often in the United States.” Alabama Department of Public Health Independent Contractor Rick Bearden said.

That’s why the Alabama Department of Public Health had this seminar, to prepare all emergency agencies on how to work together.

“The most important thing they will get out of today's meeting is to get to know each other. Because I think knowing who your partners are in your city or county can pay tremendous dividends when a tragedy happens.” Bearden said.

“Here in Dothan we're already making preparations for mass fatality events and things like that.” EMA Operations Manager Steve Carlisle said.

Carlisle says as of now the county has purchased a bioseal large enough for a mass casualty situation.

“We have the capability of sealing 1500 bodies here and we also have an undisclosed location site if we had to do a mass burial.” Carlisle said.

Sharing this information with other organizations like police and fire departments, local hospitals and the Red Cross keeps everyone on the same page.

“The relationships are already established and things click really fast in an emergency when they need to click fast.” Bearden said.

The training took more than 5 hours, but it was enough for wiregrass agencies to make lasting connections.
This is the 11th year in a row for the seminars.


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