Part 2: Is WV ready for the Boy Scout Jamboree? - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Part 2: Is WV ready for the Boy Scout Jamboree?

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Nearly 50,000 people will descend upon West Virginia in less than two weeks.

For the first time, the National Boy Scouts of America Jamboree will take place at the Summit Bechtel Family Scout Reserve in Mount Hope on July 15-24.

Scouts from across the country will raft, bike, and zipline across more than 10,000 acres of land.

The motto for the BSA is, "Be Prepared." With more than 50,000 lives at stake, several institutions took the phrase to heart. (To read how state leaders and BSA organizers are safeguarding the Summit, click here.)

Raleigh General Hospital practiced drills last month to prepare for an influx of patients the Jamboree might bring. First responders treated 12 dummies with injuries ranging from heat stroke to severe burns.

Hospital leaders said they're ready for any accident related to the Jamboree, an event that highlights a range of adventure-related activities.

"We want to make sure we're prepared to continue providing services to members of our community and those at the Boy Scout Jamboree who are in need of care," said David Darden, the president and CEO of Raleigh General.

During the ten-day retreat, all 1,200 employees will be on call. No one is allowed to take vacation days.

Each of the hospital's nearly 40 departments submitted a plan of how they will jump into action for the Jamboree.

Trauma Program Manager Phillip Bolt said certain areas will expand to treat more patients, including the emergency room, where 23 beds have been added.

The staff estimates it could treat up to 100 additional patients per day from the Jamboree, according to Bolt.

Less than twenty miles away, Raleigh General is the nearest major hospital to the Jamboree site. It is not classified as a Level 1 trauma center. Jimmy Gianato, the director of the Department of Homeland Security for West Virginia, said he's not worried.

"We have sufficient air medical support at the site where we could move people anywhere we need to fairly rapidly," Gianato said.

Medics could fly patients to one of two Level 1 trauma centers in the state: CAMC in Charleston or Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.

"We've been meeting with the Air Guard, DHHR, state threat preparedness and regional hospital disaster planning group for several months," wrote spokesperson Dale Witte in an e-mail.

CAMC recently practiced mock "scout-related" scenarios, according to Witte. These incidents involved a mock bus accident and an outbreak of disease.

Witte said during the Jamboree, the hospital will accommodate more patients if a massive emergency strikes.

CAMC currently has 838 beds. Witte said hospital staff is preparing additional spaces outside the facility to treat a high influx of patients if needed.

If the Summit was evacuated, where would those people go?

Gianato said those 50,000 scouts, leaders, and volunteers would be sent to different locations. For safety reasons, leaders are keeping the locations confidential.

"The chances of evacuating that site are very, very minimal but it is a plan that we've looked at," Gianato said.

One local leader said this is a plan he's never seen.

"We have not saw a plan, they just asked us what resources we can help them with and where they can put some of the evacuees and where we can send them to," said C.W. Sigman, the Kanawha County Fire Coordinator and Deputy Emergency Manager. "We have not been asked to participate in any briefings between now and when the Scout camp's going to start."

Sigman said Kanawha County leaders were asked to plan ahead in the event of a mass evacuation. He cited one meeting where county emergency managers met with state partners.

"We have been asked to assist with some things, for example, what if something catastrophic happened," he said. "Which hasn't ever, in the history of [the Jamboree]."

Sigman said Riverside High School in Belle would be suited to house some evacuees due to its proximity to major roads.

The contingency plan for Kanawha County also includes an interstate traffic diversion plan, in which the highways serve as escape routes.

With the Jamboree less than two weeks away, Sigman said more information on a possible evacuation plan would help, especially when local managers only want to assist in the preparedness efforts.

"It'd be easier if we had a written plan, if they gave us a list of objectives or tasks to do or a list of resources," Sigman said. "But we'll go with what we got and try to help them out the best we can."

Gianato said county leaders "involved have been part of the discussion" concerning an evacuation plan.

No hard copies of instructions have been distributed, according to Gianato. He said when plans are finalized, they will be posted to a secure portal where leaders can access them.

Last week, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a proclamation, activating the rapid deployment of additional emergency services to the nine counties where the Boy Scouts will be participating in various activities.

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