More than 90 representatives from 40 community agencies today participated in a training exercise to practice emergency response in the event of a potential or identified case of Ebola or any other serious infectious disease in the community. The training, sponsored by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD), involved hospital infection control professionals and emergency preparedness coordinators as well as local public health and state public safety agencies and community Healthcare Coalition members.
The exercise used three scenarios to allow participants to simulate how agencies would communicate and coordinate efforts to ensure that all safety and clinical procedures were followed to treat the patient and to ensure the safety of healthcare and emergency response workers and the public.
"While the risk to the general public of exposure to Ebola is highly unlikely, it's important to provide the most accurate information about the virus to healthcare and emergency workers as well as to the public," said Tim Timmons, LLCHD's Communicable Disease Program Supervisor.
Health Director Judy Halstead said this type of exercise is not new to the agencies involved. "To be thoroughly prepared for an emergency in our community, the medical community, local government agencies and others have been involved in routine training for more than a decade," she said. "This training has included our response to serious infectious diseases. Working together on a regular basis helps ensure that when we need to come together to plan for potential emergencies in our community, we are well prepared and ready to take action."
More information about Ebola is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov.