Friday Five – Plans You Should Have

March 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Next Tuesday, many Virginia businesses, schools, and government offices will conduct Tornado Drills. The National Weather Service will send an alert to NOAA which will provide a coordinate effort for all Virginia’s residents to practice their procedures should an actual tornado hit. A few years ago this would have seemed a bit foolish to me, as Virginia isn’t really known to be hit by many tornadoes. Now though, I’d say that the practice of the Tornado drills is even more important, as it seems that there is no longer a “season” or a state that isn’t impacted by tornadoes.  With that in mind, today’s friday five is the Five plans you/your agency should have AND practice:

Five Plans You Should Have

1.  Tornado Response Plan – We plan for what we will do when the tornado hits buildings in our first response area, how we will treat patients, how we will safe lives, how we will conduct searches. but do we plan on how we will react when the building that is hit is our own facility?  What happens when the people who respond, can’t?  Also, how do we keep our members safe if they are in the building when a tornado warning is issued?  Do you have signs posted so they know where the tornado shelter area is within your building?

2. Mass Casualty Response Plan – Alright, this might seem like it should be common sense. We, at any point, could respond to a mass casualty. But, do you know what resources are available in surrounding jurisdictions or where the nearest cache of equipment is?  These are things that we need to ahve planned out, so that in the heat of the incident, we automatically have answers to the questions that will get asked.  These plans should also be drilled, both in tabletop and in real-life exercises so that improvements can be made.

3.  Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)This plan provides a road map for ensuring that the agency can respond and continue to function even when the facility or the leadership is no longer there. It provides a framework for line of succession (who is in charge, when the boss can’t be) and also begins ensuring that the functions of the business can continue, even if limited, and be brought back to 100%.

4. Line of Duty Death Plan – This is a plan that I can hope NO agency has to enact, but that EVERY agency should have. This plan should cover how agencies will assist employees and their families when they are impacted by a line of duty death. It should include the role fo the agency, the role of other first response agencies, and how to provide an appropriate liaison with the family. These plans ensure that the agency is ready, though we hope it never has to happen.

5.  EMS Preplan – This isn’t one plan, but a compilation of plans. From the fire side, preplanning is second nature. Most fire departments require shifts to preplan various businesses and facilities, but EMS agencies overlook the need for access to an EMS preplan. Is your agency aware of the EMS needs at larger facilities? Are there large gatherings that could end up being a large mass casualty?  Using the preplans, EMS agencies can better prepare to the simple (and complex) response to a facility.

So, those are the five plans, that you and your agency should have.  Do you?  Are there other plans your agency has that you want to share?

Until next time…stay safe and don’t forget to follow on twitter (@stickysidedwn)

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