Cooperation and service proved vital at emergency preparedness event

Attendees help volunteers load cots into a truck at the emergency preparedness event Sept. 25 in the UCCU Center. Photo by Lincoln Op’t Hof

Volunteers, attendees and emergency management workers, came together at the UCCU Event Center on Sept. 25 in a collaborative effort to educate and prepare Utah Valley for emergency situations.

The event was organized by the American Red Cross and included emergency preparedness classes, a vendor section and a mock shelter, which had 440 cots and enough food for 1100 meals.

Emergency management and medical professionals from the surrounding area as well as UVU nursing students, Southern Baptist meal volunteers and more than 50 Red Cross volunteers provided services or training for the event.

Emergency management director, Robin Ebmeyer, spoke about the cooperation that facilitated the event. In addition to the training and resources that the event provided for the community, Ebmeyer hoped that attendees would see that organizations and governmental offices continually work together to prepare for and execute large-scale emergency response.

The mock shelter was an in-depth rehearsal that included registration for people entering the shelter. After registration, attendees could go to classes in first aid and emergency readiness.

Tina Dewey, a registered nurse at Utah Valley Medical Center trauma services, spoke about Stop the Bleed. According to Dewey, Stop the Bleed training was developed in response to situations like the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, during which bystanders could have saved lives if they had been trained to stop bleeding. The training promotes education and action by bystanders to stop life-threatening bleeding during and after emergency situations.

UVU nursing students conducted training in basic first aid, chronic illness in disasters, CPR, and children in disasters.

The shelter also provided 900 meals that were prepared by Southern Baptist Convention volunteers and served to emergency management workers, volunteers and attendees. The food that the SBC used was provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Families joined volunteers in folding up cots and loading them into a truck after the event ended.

“You see the best and the worst in people during a disaster,” Amber Savage, the event organizer and an American Red Cross executive director, said. “Most of the time, it’s the best.”

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