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Oregon emergency managers gather in Sunriver to learn, prepare


Emergency managers and other state, county and tribal preparedness personnel from across Oregon will convene in Sunriver this week for the fourth annual Oregon Prepared Workshop, hosted by Oregon Office of Emergency Management and the Oregon Health Authority.

More than 400 emergency management staff will attend a wide variety of educational that cover a range of topics, presented by individuals and panel groups.

A sampling of workshop topics include: HazMat emergencies, public health emergency response, utilizing Oregon’s Medical Reserve Corps, public and private partnerships in emergency preparedness, Oregon’s Fuel Action Plan, 2 Weeks Ready, and overcoming language and other access barriers to emergency preparedness and response.

While a few sessions are offered Monday afternoon, the workshop officially kicks off Tuesday at 7:45 a.m. Opening ceremonies include the Oregon National Guard color guard and a keynote welcome by Oregon Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps and Oregon Adjutant General Michael E. Stencel.

A half-day exercise will take place on Wednesday afternoon which will bring all attendees together to focus on information sharing using the state OpsCenter resource. In addition, static displays will showcase canine search and rescue, bomb squad protocol, mass feeding, and emergency communications technology.

The four-day workshop covers extensive learnings, says Sidra Metzger-Hines, grants coordinator for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and workshop planning leader. “There’s a full schedule of educational classes and displays, some of which are annual favorites and others that are new and timely. There’s also ample opportunity for networking with counterparts across the state.”

The success of Oregon Prepared is indicated by a significant growth in attendance over the years. Approximately 100 people participated in the first workshop in 2014. Last year, registration reached 250; and this year more than 450 emergency response personnel are expected to attend.

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