Fitzgibbon Hospital received the Outstanding Business for 2016 award from the Saline Medical Reserve Corps at a banquet held April 25 at the Saline County Health Department.
During the presentation, Assistant Director/Coordinator for Saline MRC Russ Donnell noted that the partnership with Fitzgibbon Hospital has enhanced the organization and Saline County’s disaster response readiness in numerous ways.
“Fitzgibbon Hospital has provided training for the Medical Reserve Corps and has conducted numerous exercises with us. They have also routinely shared equipment and resources with us as well,” said Donnell.
Fitzgibbon Hospital has participated in a variety of exercises over recent years, including a severe winter storm and ice exercise, dispensing of vaccination exercise, tornado exercises, active shooter exercises, and several chemical release exercises. Such exercises help grow cooperation and coordination between Fitzgibbon Hospital, Saline MRC and other disaster agencies within Saline County.
“With our Memorandum of Understanding with Fitzgibbon Hospital, we share equipment and resources. The Saline MRC will share all of our assets with Fitzgibbon Hospital, if requested, which include hand-held radios, self-contained breathing apparatus, power-assisted personal respirators, hazmat suits, portable generators, oxygen cache, special needs/long-term care cache, two trailers, our all-terrain utility vehicle and most importantly, our volunteers,” said Donnell.
This MOU between the organizations also addresses the sharing of Fitzgibbon Hospital assets with the Saline MRC including training, med-sleds, backboards, portable decontamination tents and other equipment. Many of these items were provided to Fitzgibbon Hospital, in part, through grants from the Mid-America Regional Council.
“We have worked very hard to increase our capabilities as a hospital to meet the needs of our community and partner with our first-responders so that we can be as prepared as we can be for a disaster in our community,” said Tom Jones, Chief Information Officer for Fitzgibbon Hospital and emergency preparedness coordinator for Fitzgibbon Hospital’s disaster planning.
“We have seen how important it is for organizations to partner with one another well before disaster strikes so that we can coordinate knowledge and resources,” said Jones. “Our community can only benefit as we continue to grow these partnerships.”
In addition to recognizing Fitzgibbon Hospital as the Saline MRC Outstanding Business for 2016, the organization also recognized two volunteers for the 2016 MRC Volunteer of the year. Receiving the award was Brenda Messerly and Dr. Jane Waller.
“We had two ladies this year that were such good candidates for Volunteer of the Year that we could not select one over the other,” said Donnell.
The Saline MRC is an organized group of medical and non-medical volunteers who donate their time to enhance and strengthen Saline County’s response to natural disasters, medical emergencies, search and rescue events and terrorist or bio-terrorist events. The Saline MRC earned national recognition in 2013 as it was awarded the Division of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps Community Resiliency Award at the Seasonal Leadership and Training Conference in Leesburg, VA.