Osceola Leadership Summiteers learn about public safety

EVART — When the daughter of a man having a heart attack saw her dad lying on the ground, she screamed and sobbed with emotion.

“He’s all I’ve got. You have to save him!” cried the young woman to emergency crews, while Evart Deputy Police Chief Kendra Backing attempted to calm her.

On the floor of the Evart Depot, crews from the Osceola County Emergency Medical Service and Evart Fire Department worked to revive the heart attack victim.

The outburst of emotion and crew’s response was part of an emergency simulation played by the Evart Police Department, Evart Fire Department, Osceola County Emergency Medical Services and Meceola Central Dispatch on Oct. 18. The emergency personnel came together to show participants in the Osceola Leadership Summit how they respond to emergencies.

“We have a game plan as soon as we walk in the door,” said Osceola County EMS interim director Jeremy Beebe.

Along with showing leaders how the emergency teams work together, the simulation also showcased their efforts to continually improve services. Prior to the emergency scenario, crews showed how a similar situation would have been handled in the 1970s. With less resources available for emergencies, getting in an ambulance did not mean a patient would survive. Now, the medical options available in an ambulance can save a person’s life.

“It’s just really cool to see how much improvement that was. Having a person come in a play the bystander, that became really intense,” Weinberg said. “What is most impressive is that you have dispatch, fire, EMS and police, and everyone knows their role and everyone trusts everyone else to do their role.”

Stacie Dvonch, LeRoy Township clerk and OLS participant said although she has seen teams in action before, the simulation gave her a fresh perspective on how quickly and precisely the teams operate.

“It’s cool to see how well they work together,” Dvonch said. “It definitely makes you appreciate them more. It’s a totally different experience when it’s not your loved one.”

The experience was part of Public Safety Day, the Osceola Leadership Summit’s second session in a nine month, one-day-a-month leadership program. The program is designed to enhance leadership skills and connect leaders to each other and their community through a series of hands-on experiences.

Along with viewing the simulation at the Evart Depot on Thursday, the team also traveled to the Osceola County courthouse for a tour of county jail. The team talked with county prosecuting attorney James Sims, a defense attorney and 77th District Court Judge Susan Grant to learn how the county’s legal system functions.

“We saw how the legal system works,” said summit facilitator Al Weinberg. “There is much more of a process than many think, and it was really cool to see how that works.”

Along with a new understanding of public safety officials in Osceola County, participants also gained insight into the ways the organizations trust one another, work together and benefit from asking for help.

“One person said, if they can ask for help, why can’t I?” Weinberg said. “There are a ton of principles that transfer over to professional life.”

On Nov. 15, the group will travel to schools in the county to learn about education for the third session of the Osceola Leadership Summit.