Medical workers prepare to care for children during disasters

Medical workers prepare to care for children during disasters
The course was funded by a FEMA grant (Source: WALB)
Doctors and nurses attended (Source: WALB)
Doctors and nurses attended (Source: WALB)

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - South Georgia health care workers are making plans to protect children when hospitals are overwhelmed.

When disaster strikes, the preparation of emergency workers often comes under scrutiny, especially when they're tasked with taking care of a community's most vulnerable people.

"I can see in the future, possibly tornadoes and other storms," Tift Regional Pediatrician Dixie Griffin said.

Those attending a pediatric disaster response seminar hosted by Tift Regional said they're preparing for the worst.

"That family unification, we're finding out is going to be a big, big deal, and how to get them to the right spot," Tift Regional Emergency Management Coordinator Eddie Senkbeil said.

The class, taught by Texas A&M specialists, and funded by a FEMA grant, is bringing together healthcare providers from all across South Georgia.

"I didn't realize how important it was, not just for the community to have a plan, but each family," Griffin said.

In turn, they will go back to their communities with new tips on how to help children during what may be a very traumatic time.

"We really need to partner with the businesses in our local community because we'll need to use the resources they have available," Pediatric Nurse Manager Cara Goodwin said.

Those at Tift Regional have in the past with events like bus accidents. They said they could use sheltering ideas, medical techniques and other concepts to ensure they're ready when things get hectic.

"Once a disaster happens, we realize about 30 minutes later that we should have done more, sooner," Goodwin said. "So, that's really the goal for yesterday and today's class."

A goal they hope will pay off by saving lives.

Demand to host the seminar is high. It took Tift Regional organizers two years to book the group. They're already working on doing that again for 2019.

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