First responders get all-hands-on-deck training ahead of 2024 Republican National Convention

The Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition works to ensure all police, fire, and medical teams can handle any large-scale event.
Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Readiness Training.jpeg
Posted at 9:17 AM, Oct 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-04 10:17:48-04

WAUWATOSA, Wisc. — Earlier this year, we told you about an organization that helps our local health systems prepare for large-scale events, like the 2024 Republican National Convention.

“There's so many moving pieces to dealing with something like this and bringing everyone all up to speed,” said Assistant Chief Barbara Kadrich, Wauwatosa Fire Department.

On Tuesday, first responders gathered for an all-hands-on-deck training exercise at the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa.

Dr. J. Marc Liu is with the Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition or HERC.

He says they look at the planning process in a bunch of different ways.

"We have a tabletop, which is more of a theoretical, and then we do a functional or a full-scale, where we're actually going through the motions, rehearsing what we would do in a real event,” said J. Marc Liu, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Southeast WI Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition.

From phone updates every 15 minutes to hands-on tactical planning, Wauwatosa Fire Assistant Chief Barbara Kadrich says part of being in HERC is understanding that you're trying to teach every group how to work from the same playbook.

“Fire Department, we do this every day. Police departments, they do it now and then, and now we're bringing in all the other entities that need to be involved, whether it's the hospitals, where the people go, anyplace that could happen,” said Kadrich.

With nine months to go until 50,000 people gather in Milwaukee for the RNC, these first responders and health organizations hope they aren't needed but will be ready if they get the call.

“One of the things we do is we try to plan for a worst-case scenario. Anybody who's a resident in any municipality who's affected by one incident can rest assured that there are other resources backfilling and moving up. We don't leave any particular area uncovered due to one emergency,” said Kadrich.