Emergency Management Scenario Wildfires in Neighborhood Emergency Essay

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Emergency Management Scenario: Wildfires in Neighborhood

Emergency Management is a process which requires a high level of coordination between various disaster management agencies, law enforcement groups, emergency first-responders, media outlets, civilian groups and healthcare providers. Where events occur that may have resulted in any combination of consequences such as widespread property damage, infrastructural disruption, loss of human life and widespread injury, a number of emergency management procedures immediately go into action. Such would be the case with the scenario presented in Season 2, Episode 5 of the Neighborhood News. Here, a natural disaster would create a number of threats to property and public health and would therefore require the attention and coordination of a number of different groups and agencies within the impacted neighborhood.

Emergency Management Scenario:

The events which prompted the demand for rapid emergency response are described as initiating in a town called Neighborhood which borders on an area of extensive woodlands. At the time of the reporting in the articles related to the subject, it is reported that a forest fire has been raging for five days in the woodlands nearby to Neighborhood. Firefighters have been battling the blaze for that duration and attempting to prevent the fire from reaching the adjoining town. While they have been successful in this effort according to the available reports, heavy winds have carried a great deal of smoke over into Neighborhood and this has begun to impact residents. This would provide an array of challenges for Neighborhood in terms of disaster management, civic management and use of public communication channels.

Emergency Management Settings:

Challenges would vary depending upon the participants found in each of the settings describes. For instance, the hospital has experienced a particularly heavy influx of patients during the mounting crisis. While reports coming from public health officials had indicated that inhalation of the smoke did not present a great danger to most individuals, it was not advisable for the citizens of Neighborhood to spend too great a proportion of time out of doors. Moreover, and more importantly where the hospital would be concerned, those suffering with preexistent lung conditions would be strongly advised to avoid the outside air. And because those with preexisting lung and respiratory issues were being more adversely effected by the presence of smoke in the vicinity, the hospital found itself filled to capacity. The emergency waiting room and emergency facilities were both overcrowded. Additionally, hospital beds were scarce and nursing staff and other healthcare personnel were over-burdened. There emerged a particularly strong impetus to produce fast turnaround and quick discharge where possible in order to keep moving new patients through the door.

Another impetus would emerge from this scenario, which would be the need for the spread of public information regarding safety expectations. In particular, by using all available channels to call for citizens to remain indoors, with specific targeting of those most vulnerable to long and respiratory conditions, it is possible to improve the preventative tactics which might help offset the influx of new hospital patients. The key target demographic is the especially vulnerable population subset of senior citizens, who tend to present more frequently complaining of lung and respiratory issues. In light of this, the Senior Nursing Clinic is another Neighborhood facility that has experienced higher than usually volumes of visitors. Seniors have of course been advised to remain indoors wherever possible. However, the Senior Nursing Clinic has become a particularly popular destination for Neighborhood's senior citizens in recent years on account of its various social events and activities targeting seniors. Indeed, the Clinic has for several years now fulfilled an important role within the community, the absence of which could lead to isolation and sedentary lifestyle among senior citizens. Any such drop-off in activity could be damaging to the senior citizen's health and well-being. For this reason, may have continued to visit the clinic against the advisement of public health officials.

This issue has been compounded by the fact that many of the area's senior citizens rely on the Clinic for refills on medicinally administered oxygen. Because smoke inhalation has resulted in greater breathing difficulty especially for those whose preexisting health concerns have caused the need for constant breathing assistance in the form of readily available oxygen tanks, the Clinic would experience heavier than normal volumes of visitation from those needing tank refills.

Not all senior citizens would be in direct contact with senior living facilities or hospitals during the time of public crisis. As is always the case, public health officials must work to establish contact and delineate safety concerns to those senior citizens living independently. This description applies to the Jimmy and Cecilia Bley, a married couple in their 70s who reside in the town of Neighborhood. When the dryer breaks in the midst of the public health crisis, Cecilia wishes for Jimmy to brave the conditions outdoors to retrieve the necessary items with which to repair her dryer. This case is highlighted by the fact that Jimmy suffers from mild emphysema. The subject falls directly into the category of individuals with preexisting lung or respiratory conditions and therefore is a candidate for negative medical consequences of smoke inhalation.

As the articles connected to the case study show, senior citizens are of course not the only individuals who are vulnerable to such public health threats. A final scenario described by the case study concerns a 2nd grade student who presents to school nurse Violet with heavy coughing, irregular breathing a wheezing. Nurse Violet contacts the child's mother and determines that she keeps an inhaler at home because the child has had a history of respiratory issues. She is, like Jimmy Bley, a prime candidate for suffering particularly severe consequences of smoke inhalation. Therefore, the school nurse advises, with some reluctance on the part of the girl's mother, for the inhaler to be kept in the school nurse's office in the event of another incident.

Healthcare Responders:

In the case study provided, healthcare responders would play a critical part in helping the public to navigate its crisis situation. For the doctors, nurses, specialists and healthcare providers in Neighborhood, the incidences resulting form the wildfire would create a steady and growing demand for all available medical personnel. Therefore, medical staffs would work overtime to help improve treatment outcomes, to help move patients effectively through the system and to promote preventative strategies. For instance, we consider a key character such as Nurse Violet. When presented with a subject who fell directly into the category of individuals likely to be adversely impacted by the high winds and heavy smoke, Violet sought to take a measure that might prevent future incidences. Upon finding out that the patient did have a history of respiratory issues and therefore carried an inhaler at home, she offered the preemptive resolution that an inhaler also be kept at school.

Emergency Preparedness:

In terms of Emergency Preparedness, one role played by the healthcare professionals of Neighborhood would be as emissaries of critical public health messages. Indeed, for many senior citizens who may otherwise live in some degree of isolation or immobility, interaction with personnel at the Neighborhood hospital or at the Senior Nursing Clinic might well represent their only social or public interaction. Therefore, nurses and other healthcare professionals would serve as a direct channel for public health warnings relating to the crisis situation. Providing information on the heightened threat of smoke inhalation due to heavy winds, on the specific warning issued to individuals with preexisting lung or respiratory conditions and issued advice to seniors and other high risk individuals on how to avoid risking exposure.

Nurse Roles:

Nurses initially responding to the health crisis would be those working in the Hospital's emergency room. It would be their role to triage individuals and determine their cause of visitation. Indeed, as a higher sum of visitors presenting with smoke inhalation issues persisted, healthcare workers would play a critical role in determining the elevated threat to public health. This would demonstrate the reciprocal nature of the relationship between healthcare workers and emergency first responders.

Other Public Health Agencies:

Given that healthcare facilities in the small town of Neighborhood became strained by the influx of individuals needing treatment, state or federal disaster assistance would have been an appropriate avenue to explore for assistance. With respect to asking for such assistance, the text by McCarthy (2009) identifies this as one of the central functions of the federal government where disaster management is concerned, arguing that "states can be victims of an event that can greatly diminish their ability to assist in housing victims of major disasters or emergencies. But beyond the impact of a disaster in a state is the fact that, while all states are equal in rights, they are not necessarily equal in their capacity to respond. Nor do all states make the equivalent commitment to disaster recovery work, including sheltering and housing." (McCarthy, p. 3)

In recent history, highlighted especially by the failure of disaster management and emergency response following…[continue]

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"Emergency Management Scenario Wildfires In Neighborhood Emergency" (2012, January 27) Retrieved October 28, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/emergency-management-scenario-wildfires-75301

"Emergency Management Scenario Wildfires In Neighborhood Emergency" 27 January 2012. Web.28 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/emergency-management-scenario-wildfires-75301>

"Emergency Management Scenario Wildfires In Neighborhood Emergency", 27 January 2012, Accessed.28 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/emergency-management-scenario-wildfires-75301

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