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C. Oregon first responders: Prepared for the worst


In the wake of the Aurora, Colo. tragedy, officials from St. Charles Medical Center and the Deschutes County 911 dispatch center agreed Friday that they would be able to handle an emergency situation in which a large group of people need immediate medical attention.

“The (preparation) work happens before these emergencies,” Rob Poirier, manager of the Deschutes County 911 dispatch center, said Friday. “You spoke earlier about thinking hypothetically. Well, it’s our job in public safety to think hypothetically.”

According to Poirier, in a situation where several people are killed and many more injured, an Emergency Operation Plan is implemented.

Under an EOP, the injured would be sent to hospitals and medical centers across Central Oregon, such as St. Charles and Bend Memorial Clinic.

“The most critically injured would be taken to St. Charles because it is a Level 2 trauma facility,” said Lisa Goodman, St. Charles’ media and strategic communications coordinator.

But both Goodman and Poirier agreed that it is difficult to predict exactly how their organization would respond to a specific emergency scenario, as each one is different.

“However, the benefit of an EPO is its ability to scale the response larger or smaller due to each given situation,” Poirier said.

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