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    In the Path of Totality

    First responders, health care systems prepare for April 8 eclipse
    In+the+Path+of+Totality
    Mr. Tim McCarty/used with permission

    For a few brief moments on April 8 in northeast Ohio, the temperature grew cold and the skies darkened. The moon and sun aligned, the eclipse approached totality. While spectators gazed at this once-in-alifetime phenomenon, what surrounded them was months of preparation on the part of first responders and healthcare providers. As the solar eclipse approached, anticipation and preparation among first responders are reaching a crescendo. With the rare celestial event poised to captivate millions, emergency services are gearing up to ensure safety and swift response in the face of potential challenges. From coordinating traffic management to implementing safety protocols, their dedication underscores the importance of readiness in safeguarding communities during this awe-inspiring phenomenon. Sgt. Matthew Buzzard of the North Canton Police Department elaborated as to the city’s plan on April 8.

    “We are increasing staffing levels for the event in both dispatch and the patrol division,” he said. “We already have preparedness plans in place for large-scale events that include back-up phone and radio services, as well as a remote computer automated dispatching (CAD) option. We also have bike units that can be deployed if needed, two generators that can power the communication center if one fails, and obviously, a direct connection to the fire department for additional manpower and equipment.”

    Corporate Director of Operations and Facilities Management at Sprenger Health Care Systems Mr. Robert Epperly and a team of nurses prepared for the eclipse.

    “Our biggest concerns are security for the residents, and the availability of emergency personnel during the event. We expect many visitors, and limited access to our facilities,” he said.

    People will want to spend this amazing sight with their families and friends. People will also want to be outside and throw parties to celebrate the eclipse. However as we know the more people there are the more stuffed it will get. Higher traffic makes it harder for people to get to work. This could cause some potential concerns for the In the Path of Totality First responders, health care systems prepare for April 8 eclipse healthcare workers in our society.

    “We don’t anticipate any medical conditions with our residents due to the eclipse, other than the availability of emergency services during the event,” Epperly said.”When it comes to safety, the healthcare industry always has a constant focus on ensuring that our residents are kept safe at all times, however they will have a heightened focus on security and visitors. We plan to ensure all of our emergency backup generators have their fuel tanks topped off prior to the event, due to the event. We do expect transportation interruptions.”

    In order to view the eclipse, one needs special solar eclipse glasses in order to protect the retinas. In order to help educate and give the people a chance to view the solar eclipse, Sprenger Health Care [pictured left during the eclipse] will give out glasses to all of its residents as well as their families in order to help keep everyone safe.

    “We have decided to purchase and provide all residents and families with the solar eclipse viewing glasses,” Epperly said.

    The true and actual planning for this eclipse had actually started long before the event.

    “We have been involved in discussions as well as planning with all local authorities and emergency services for the last twelve months,” Epperly said. “The actual implementation of the plan will actually begin Friday April 5, because we are expecting many people to camp for the weekend leading up to the eclipse.”

    Graphic provides info about the solar eclipse. (NASA Graphic: Staff, TNS)

     

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    About the Contributor
    Katerina Moseley
    Katerina Moseley, Features Editor
    Hey Hoover, I’m Katerina! This is my first year on staff and I’m very excited for it. I love hanging out with friends. In addition to the newspaper, I am on the Speech and Debate team. I can’t wait to see what this year holds!