GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Area residents may notice some unusual activity at and around Eight Oaks Park on Highmarket Street next week in Georgetown County.
That will be the site of a full-scale emergency preparedness exercise being put on by Georgetown County Emergency Management on Wednesday, March 20. Georgetown County tries to host a major training exercise annually to ensure emergency responders, health care workers, and other involved agencies are prepared for any type of emergency that may arise.
“We’ve had a lot of real-world practice with hurricanes and flooding recently, but there are a lot of other disasters that could occur in our area,” said Sam Hodge, Georgetown County Emergency Manager.
The scenario for this year’s training exercise is a mass casualty incident involving a school bus that collides with a train while on a field trip. The exercise will begin at 9:30 a.m. and last until around noon for emergency responders. Health care workers will continue the exercise in their facilities in the afternoon, once role players have been transported to emergency rooms. In the exercise scenario, hospital emergency departments will already be operating at or above capacity and dealing with staffing shortages due to a flu outbreak.
“This is a way for us to test our emergency responders and health care workers, as well as our plans, resources, and communications between agencies,” Hodge said.
Local coroners will also continue the exercise in the afternoon, as they train in fatality management.
The exercise is sponsored by the Pee Dee Health Care Coalition, and will involve:
• Georgetown County Emergency Management
• Georgetown County Fire/EMS
• Georgetown City Fire
• Georgetown County Public Information
• Georgetown County Coroner’s Office
• Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office
• Georgetown County Parks and Recreation
• Georgetown County School District
• Meducare Air
• Midway Fire Rescue
• Pee Dee Health Care Coalition
• Salvation Army
• SC Emergency Management Division
• Tidelands Health Georgetown
• Tidelands Health Waccamaw
Members of the media are welcome to observe the exercise. For more information, contact Jackie Broach-Akers at (843) 545-3164.