May 31, 2022
As we pause and reflect on the school shooting that occurred last week in Uvalde, Texas, our thoughts most certainly have turned toward trying to comprehend how something so horrific could occur.
It’s a difficult analysis, as what happened defies rational thought. We all need to take time to mourn along with the Uvalde community and process the tragedy in our own way.
As emergency managers, we need to find a way to learn from tragedy. Our duty calls us to process and analyze. It’s hard, especially in this case. In our work, we toil extensively and diligently in the preparedness and mitigation phases trying to prevent tragedies, although we know deep down that, despite our efforts, they still occur.
We have to come to understand the shooting, not just from the standpoint of pain and anger, but also from the standpoint of systems and processes, alerts and notifications, logistics and response, and care and comfort. Undoubtedly, these factors were tested to their maximum as the emergency response and health care infrastructure in rural Uvalde faced perhaps the greatest and most enduring challenge it ever had. Emergency managers and health care professionals must evaluate what worked and what can be improved so that we can learn, teach, and improve future responses.
The health care disaster challenges of rural communities, particularly when it comes to mass casualty incidents, are not a new concept for us. Consider the following when looking inward at your planning:
These are just a few of the questions that we should process it the wake of a tragedy such as the one we experienced last week. No doubt these are difficult discussions, but know that you are having them for the right reason.
The HAP Emergency Management team is available to support and assist member facilities with these and any other questions you may have. Please contact me, or any member of the team.
Tags: Public Health | Emergency Preparedness
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