According to local Emergency Response Coordinator Rosalyn Hall, the Jackson County Health Department is prepared to help with public health emergencies. They partner with the community in a variety of ways such as obtaining space for people to receive medications in the case of an epidemic or plague, and warehouse supplies.
Community partners include the Jackson County Memorial Hospital, Altus Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Altus. There are also push partners that have nurses on staff to help in the time of an emergency. The nursing homes, and the Sheriffs Department, along with Bar-S, help as push partners.
Hall is the local Emergency Response Coordinator serving Jackson, Harmon, Greer, Tillman, Beckham and Roger Mills County. “We are part of Incident Command System (ICS) where everything is based on emergencies. It is a common operating system for events and disasters,” she said.
Hall is responsible for coordinating training, meetings, recruitment and response activities. She explained the upcoming Mass Immunization Profal System (MIPS) is a mock drill that will be held on April 8, 2016. It will be a scenario of a plague or illness. This drill will be an opportunity for all groups that may have a responsibility in such situations to come together for practice and emergency training. It will help find negatives and positives, and how to improve and be better prepared. The drill will take place at either the Jackson County Expo Center or the Altus Community Center.
“Preparedness is the foundation for an emergency or disaster situation,” said Hall. “We always have to be prepared for any type of incident.”
Anyone can obtain free disaster and emergency literature at no cost at the Jackson County Health Department, 401 West Tamarack Road in Altus, or get more information by calling 580-482-7308.
Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221 ext. 2077