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STARKVILLE, Miss. — OCH Regional Medical Center, along with other city, county and state agencies will conduct a disaster drill Thursday morning, December 5. The mock scenario will include a direct hit from a tornado, which collapses a Southwire building. Approximately four patients will be transported to the Medical Center with numerous injuries. The focus of the drill will be to evaluate and improve communication, triage and transfer of patients, incident command system set-up and interaction between agencies during a disaster situation.

“This disaster drill will aid Oktibbeha County in fine tuning our emergency preparedness plan and will also test how well we can communicate and work together,” said Oktibbeha County Emergency Management Director Jim Britt. “All of these agencies involved have trained hard, and this drill will allow us to pinpoint the areas where we need to work a little harder,” he added.

The Starkville Police Department, Starkville Fire Department, Highway Patrol, Mississippi State University, Med Stat, Southwire, FEMA and MEMA will also be involved in the drill. However, additional agencies may also become involved as the drill plays out from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

“MEMA will be on hand to build the scenario to simulate what can happen during a disaster and then critique the drill,” said MEMA Exercise Officer Jefferson Smith, adding that coordination and communication are the keys to success. “Communication between state and local agencies is critical in future operations. We want to make sure all agencies know where the resources are so that everyone gets the best care,” added Smith.

The Emergency Operational Center will be set up at 106 Main Street in Starkville. Following the drill, controllers, evaluators and participants will attend a debriefing in which exercise observations will be discussed in an open forum to gather information to help improve the disaster response process and protocol.

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