In adversity, the human spirit shines its brightest, demonstrating the power of collaboration and preparedness. Here in Southwest Ohio, the Tristate Disaster Preparedness Coalition (TSDPC) has showcased an unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of our communities.
This past August, as scorching heatwaves gripped the region, the TSDPC was called upon by the Butler County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) to lend a helping hand to an assisted living facility grappling with a malfunctioning AC unit, a dire situation exacerbated by the extreme weather.
Dean Mason, the TSDPC’s warehouse manager, promptly sprang into action. He collaborated closely with the EMA team to deliver a backup unit, oversee the transportation and setup, and even provide onsite resource training. Within 2 hours of the initial call for support, a power outage trailer was onsite and operational. The power outage trailer houses a generator, box fans, industrial fans, and surge protectors.
“Dean is a true hero. When the call came in, Dean wasted no time. His swift and decisive action set the wheels in motion for a remarkable crisis response. His tireless efforts ensured that the vulnerable residents of the assisted living facility experienced no discomfort because of the malfunctioning unit.”
The TSDPC represents a multi-disciplinary group of agencies and organizations working together to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters, mass casualty incidents, public health emergencies, and catastrophic events requiring a unified response. The coalition, funded by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), encompasses Southwest Ohio and works closely with Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana to enhance the region’s capacity to meet emergency preparedness standards outlined by HHS and ASPR. The Health Collaborative manages the ASPR grant and convenes the TSDPC members, which include Emergency Managers, Emergency Management Agencies, Hospital Steering Committees, Fire Chief Councils, EMS Councils, Public Health, and numerous other critical stakeholders. The group engages in various activities, such as responding to power outages, tornadoes, and severe weather, participating in exercises and drills, providing situational awareness to the region, and acting as a vital liaison within and between regions and states.
TSDPC’s mission is to promote and enhance healthcare entities’ emergency preparedness and response capabilities, which includes prioritizing plan equity and inclusion in regional and local preparedness plan development. Whether it’s facilitating communication, ensuring that our communities are well-equipped to face adversity, or coordinating resources during a crisis like the one with the AC outage at the assisted living facility, the TSDPC stands as a pillar of strength in times of urgent need.
When asked how he feels about playing such a critical role in mitigating a crisis, Dean shares, “It’s not just a job; it’s a calling to lend a hand when it’s needed most because we all have a role to play in making our communities safer and stronger.”