SNCO Emergency Management holds preparedness training at long term care facilities

Training designed to prepare residents and staff for an emergency
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 12:46 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Shawnee County Emergency Management and local law enforcement agencies are running through emergency preparedness training at 19 participating long-term care facilities. The training is designed to meet the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Home and Community Final Rule requirements.

This morning, Tuesday, Oct. 4, emergency management provided active shooter training at Caregivers Home Health near 29th and Gage Boulevard and at Lexington Park Health and Rehab Center near 10th and Gage.

13 News spoke with Shawnee County Emergency Manager Dusty Nichols on why the training is important. It’s been a few years since these training exercises have taken place and he is glad to be back out in the community showing people what to do in an emergency.

“This is crawling back into it and looking at those plans and there are a few things that stood out,” said Nichols. “There were improvements if you will on all the responders for this one that they can coordinate a little bit better with and real simple things that can make the process better.”

Topeka Police Lieutenant Ron Ekis says the hands on training does more than any manual ever could.

“I think most people actually learn better with hands on instead of just sitting in a classroom and looking at a PowerPoint and actually getting out and doing it,” said Ekis. “You also get to learn about several things like learning the layout of the building, we never would have gotten that sitting in a classroom. We never would have realized that certain pieces were missing that could have helped us out in trying to locate the place. It’s always better to have that face to face.”

Michael Boulton is the administrator at Lexington Park Health and Rehab and says the on-site training brings a different awareness.

“When you’re handed a card that says you’ve just been shot, It’s really effective,” said Boulton. “Having them here made it a lot more real to the staff, they took it very seriously. I think it was extremely helpful and I would definitely recommend other facilities participating in this kind of thing.”

As a first responder, Lieutenant Ekis says it’s helpful that people on the inside know how to react.

“It’s very helpful knowing that these guys are participating in exercises like these, that they already have a plan in place, that they’re already taking their safety into their own hands. That’s one less thing that we have to worry about,” said Ekis.

If your organization would like to participate in emergency preparedness training you can give them a call at (785) 251-4150 or by sending an email to webmaster@snco.us.