We live in "Small Town America" for the most part. Our community is small enough that we have fairly easy commutes, we have access to all the modern amenities that make life cool. We've got great restaurants, an evolving night life, sports teams, good schools....MILES is priceless water front, great people, communities that work together for the most part - schools that do a great job education kids who want to learn...museums, maritime treasures...beautiful woodland areas... rivers... in land lakes...
And then one day....a pipe bomb goes off at an indoor event with over 1500 people at it because a lunatic wanted to make a point.......
You know it's only a simulation.
An event like this is what's being trained for at the Frauenthal Center Monday the 29th and Tuesday the 30th. Our area first response teams, doctors, nurses and others are coming together with the help of the Muskegon County Medical Control Authority this week. What's happening is this. It's an exercise where doctors are going to be able to experience in a remarkably realistic situation, more on that in a minute, just what it's like to do the job of the first responder team. Be it EMT, police or fire and rescue....these professionals all know their role, but...what happens when you flip flop those roles and give the players on either team a chance to see what the other group endures? Cameron Taylor invited me down and as we talked, he brought up a fairly new "buzzword" "silos". Yes, we all have our own little "silos" of specialty, what's happening today and tomorrow at the Frau is to build a bridge between the silos so our people have a better understanding of what the complete job entails when the unthinkable happens.
Now, since this is a live event happening right now, I can't tell you what the group will be experiencing, but...I got a walk through while there was some lecturing going on in the Beardsley Theater today and I am here to tell you. The scenario's that these folks will be placed in are the stuff nightmares are made of. There will be more than one life and death situation and it involves every nook and cranny of the Frauenthal Center. We were in the bowels of the basement up to the rafters of the roof previewing the drill...and simulation or not...no one will leave there tomorrow without a sincere realization of just what it is to encounter a disaster of magnitude and how everything has to flow all together after to do what they can, for who they can in proper order.
As mentioned, I was invited down by Cameron Taylor to learn a little more about how all this works, why the training is so vital and how all of these collective teams work together and learn what it takes to handle a mass casualty event where we least expect one. Right here in Muskegon. Take a listen.
We hope it's never needed, but...we also know that this is a big scary world. It's great to know that the people are being trained and cross trained to know how to handle the unthinkable. We also wanted to cover this story as a thanks to those who quietly and purposefully stay behind the scenes to make sure that those on the front lines of an emergency situation like this are up to speed and can handle whatever is thrown at them. If you'd like to know more about the West Michigan Regional Medial Consortiom please click on their logo below to visit their website. Our best wishes to those in the training tomorrow.