McCracken County: Prepared for large-scale disaster

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Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - David Dycus

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. - Jamey Locke is the first to admit the events in Boston and Texas this week have made him think about his community's readiness.

But, the Director at Mercy Regional EMS says, "Paducah does have a plan."

The plan came about more than a decade ago.  Following, Hurricane Katrina and the terrorist attacks on 9-11, the federal government decided each community needed a plan.

Paducah, thanks to federal dollars, now has five trailers filled with medical supplies and ready to go at a moment's notice.

Locke says there is enough supplies, tents, cots, spine boards, generators, you name it, to take care of 200 at a moment's notice. 

 

"What we have here, we can mobilize real quickly to get to any site," he said of the supplies that is housed in an unmarked building in the county.

Donna Croft is the Emergency Room Director at Lourdes.  She admits of watching the news this week, "It is scary."

She says Lourdes has constant trainings. Staff, she says, knows how to deal with nearly every chemical from every plant, "We work with the plants so we know all their chemicals and how to treat any exposure we have so we're constantly educating and training so we can handle whatever is out in the community."

"I think it is a matter of when and we have to be prepared," she continued.

Locke says Paducah is ready and that he says is both sobering and satisfying.

"It gives you a sense of pride and a sense of comfort that you have those resources available for your community."

He says in just 10 years, the supplies have been used twice. Mobile units responded to tornadoes in Muhlenberg and Marshall counties.

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