MMC Nursing Students and Faculty Participate in Emergency Operations Exercise

October 20, 2016

BSN nursing students in community health and faculty volunteers from Mount Marty College’s Nursing Department will take part in an Emergency Operations Plan Exercise on Oct. 20, 2016 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the college’s Cimpl Arena.

Such call-down exercises occur quarterly with an objective to test incident command and help prepare for potential emergencies. The Oct. 20 exercise scenario will focus on anthrax prophylaxis, and volunteers and members of the public will be provided with basic information regarding anthrax.

Yankton County Community Health Nurse Julie DeYoung describes the fictional scenario: “On October 14, some cases started appearing in local hospitals in Yankton, Vermillion, and Sioux Falls. They suspected that it was anthrax exposure at a sporting event.” The South Dakota Secretary of Health would then declare a health emergency and notify the Centers for Disease Control of the outbreak. A request would be placed for supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), including antibiotics to treat the anthrax infection. 

According to Paula Gibson, RN of Bon Homme Community Health, the exercise will include the transport and inventory of medical and pharmaceutical supplies. On Wednesday, Oct. 19, a transport truck from the SNS will arrive in Sioux Falls with 20 pallets of medical and pharmaceutical supplies. Transport trucks will move the supplies, under escort, from Sioux Falls to Yankton and Vermillion on Thursday, Oct.20.

Volunteers will assemble at Cimpl Arena at 8 a.m. on Oct. 20. Mount Marty students are invited to arrive at 8:30 a.m. and then will be bussed to the high school. When the SNS truck arrives at 9 a.m., the medical supplies will be inventoried but not distributed. After the exercise ends between noon and 1 p.m., a debriefing (or “Hot Wash”) will take place at Mount Marty.

DeYoung is grateful for the coordinated efforts of Yankton County emergency responders and volunteers. “It really is a community effort. It’s neat to see people come together and work as a team.”

Such call-down exercises occur quarterly with an objective to test incident command and help prepare for potential emergencies. The Oct. 20 exercise scenario will focus on anthrax prophylaxis, and volunteers and members of the public will be provided with basic information regarding anthrax.

Yankton County Community Health Nurse Julie DeYoung describes the fictional scenario: “On October 14, some cases started appearing in local hospitals in Yankton, Vermillion, and Sioux Falls. They suspected that it was anthrax exposure at a sporting event.” The South Dakota Secretary of Health would then declare a health emergency and notify the Centers for Disease Control of the outbreak. A request would be placed for supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), including antibiotics to treat the anthrax infection.

According to Paula Gibson, RN of Bon Homme Community Health, the exercise will include the transport and inventory of medical and pharmaceutical supplies. On Wednesday, Oct. 19, a transport truck from the SNS will arrive in Sioux Falls with 20 pallets of medical and pharmaceutical supplies. Transport trucks will move the supplies, under escort, from Sioux Falls to Yankton and Vermillion on Thursday, Oct.20.

 Volunteers will assemble at Cimpl Arena at 8 a.m. on Oct. 20. Mount Marty students are invited to arrive at 8:30 a.m. and then will be bussed to the high school. When the SNS truck arrives at 9 a.m., the medical supplies will be inventoried but not distributed. After the exercise ends between noon and 1 p.m., a debriefing (or “Hot Wash”) will take place at Mount Marty.

DeYoung is grateful for the coordinated efforts of Yankton County emergency responders and volunteers. “It really is a community effort. It’s neat to see people come together and work as a team.”