How much is too much when it comes to preparing for life’s unpredictable disasters or emergencies? Tom Kurlick and Nick Lewis, safety directors for the entire Baptist system, say not enough—and now have the certification to prove it.
This year, the pair earned the Certified Disaster Emergency Professional (CDEP) certification which is a new, national certification. “I think we are one of the first three groups in the country to take the exam,” said Nick.
From weather and cyber crime to terrorism, Baptist is no different from other large organizations trying to manage the unknown. While this may sound daunting, these two Baptist team members understand what knowledge and practices can in fact help keep us safer.
With hospitals deemed “soft” targets, those places with open access and large populations, the Baptist security teams across the system work with an extra sense of purpose. The certification further crystallizes knowledge and experience.
“The exam was tough,” said Nick, who has 20 years of experience.
The three-hour exam addressed emergency planning, management, response and mitigation concepts. Perhaps more importantly, the exam focused on best practices or standards set by organizations such as Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a host of others.
“It helps us prepare, respond, and build plans and skills—all within a framework,” explained Nick. Tom agreed, adding “It highlights different structures and common emergency response platforms so we know how to work with all the necessary agencies.”
While most of us work through the day oblivious to real threats, Tom and Nick join the many Baptist safety team members throughout the system who practice implementing emergency plans—when there’s not an emergency. “In light of all that is going on,from weather to the fact we sit on the New Madrid fault, we need to be ready,” said Tom.