Local hospitals plan for things like mass shootings, utility failures and even Ebola outbreaks

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GREENSBORO. N.C. – Hundreds of victims poured into Las Vegas hospitals after the mass shooting. Helping those people, all at once, is a task many places say they unfortunately need to prepare for.

“It was tragic to hear about,” said Scott Supernaw, the emergency manager at Cone Health. “Even though we are in the job for planning for the worst… thinking of the worst-case scenario and then making it harder. It’s still terrible to hear that those things actually happen and we have to prepare for all of that.”

Supernaw’s team plans for things like mass shootings, utility failures and even Ebola outbreaks.

“That’s when they need us the most,” Supernaw said. “We have to be at her best game.”

Each Cone Hospital has an emergency training drills twice a year. The location in Greensboro on Church Street has practiced with upwards of 100 victims in the past.

“Once we get notified of the event, it becomes an all hands-on deck,” Supernaw said. “If the emergency department gets overwhelmed, start using clinical space to make sure those patients have beds to come into. We can even set up disaster cots and disaster treatment areas in our conference rooms.”

Cone has five emergency departments in our area hospitals and works with level one trauma centers like Wake Forest, UNC and Duke.

“If they need specialty care that we can’t provide here, we collaborate with a lot of the surrounding hospitals,” Supernaw said.

Supernaw says no one will ever be turned away.

“The critical ones are going to receive care more quickly, but we are not going to turn anyone away,” Supernaw said.

He says his team now plans to learn from what happened in Las Vegas.

“We will reach out to our counterparts in Las Vegas, at the hospitals there, as well as the county and the city and identify what went well and what didn’t,” Supernaw said.

The team will then figure out if and how to change the plan they already have in place.

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