Joint Training Exercise Planned

Blue Beacon will put local first responders to the test next week during an active violence training exercise.

The joint effort between Blue Beacon, Saline County Emergency Management, the Saline County Sheriff’s Office, the Salina Police Department, Salina Police Department Emergency Communications Center, Salina Fire Department Emergency Medical Services, and Salina Regional Health Center will take place on October 17.

According to Saline County, the exercise will begin in the afternoon with an evacuation of the Blue Beacon facility. There will be heavy vehicle traffic in the area during this time.

“Blue Beacon goes above and beyond in preparing their employees. It’s great to see one of Saline County’s largest employers setting such a high standard for safety training,” said Michelle Barkley, Director of Emergency Management. “They have always been dedicated to training their employees and our local first responders.”

During this training, “victims” will be placed strategically around the building with cards stating the nature of their injuries. Emergency responders will be expected to tend to the condition appropriately.

“Blue Beacon is excited to partner with local law enforcement, the 911 dispatchers, and Salina Regional Health Center to put together a drill for how to handle a dangerous intruder in the workplace,” said Pat Sullivan, Blue Beacon Vice President of Human Resources. “Although we hope it will never happen to us, we would rather be prepared, and we believe this drill will do just that for our employees and other participants.”

Blue Beacon is an active member of the Saline County Local Emergency Planning Committee, which builds relationships between first responders and private businesses.

“The Salina Police Department is proud to partner with other public safety entities, our 911 dispatch center, and businesses in Salina to better prepare for critical incidents that may occur in our community,” said Capt. Paul Forrester, Support Division Captain. “We have worked with Blue Beacon in the past, and it is wonderful to see their commitment to ensuring the safety of their employees while enabling public safety, dispatchers, and the hospital to train their personnel.

Joint training with local businesses is vital because it allows local response teams to train in a real-world environment, work with each other’s processes, and keep new staff up-to-date on internal capabilities they might not see on a day-to-day basis.

“During this exercise, we will be able to test the 911 texting capabilities, so our communications personnel are better prepared to handle a real-life incident,” explained Forrester. “Any time we can train our personnel and assist community partners with training, it benefits everyone. The support we continue to receive in the community and the partnerships we have established are truly remarkable and make Salina a great place to live and be a part of.”