BEULAH, N.D. (KXNET) — When you are in the medical field, being prepared is part of the job.
And on Tuesday, the Knife River Care Center in Beulah held an evacuation drill in order to be prepared when disaster strikes.

This year’s drill format is a little different for the care center. In previous years, staff had to take time off work in order to undergo training. Now, the mobile drill unit goes to the care center staff, allowing them to stay right where they are.

“When it comes to evacuations in North Dakota, we have one statewide system,” said HHS’s Assistant Training Coordinator, Alan Aarhus. “That is why it’s so important for us to come out to these places and train all over the state, so when we have an evacuation, if we need folks to come from our medical reserve corps and come to Fargo or Grand Forks, everybody knows the system, because it is one statewide system of evacuation that we use.”

Tuesday, the staff trained both inside and outside. The outdoor drill featured a bus that would be used in the case of a fire or flood that forces a care facility to evacuate. And inside, workers learned how to operate patient tracking systems and stair machines that are also used in the case of evacuation.

Blake Kragnes, the facility administrator, says that this drill brought not only the community of Beulah — but all of western North Dakota — together as they learned how to work safely in the face of disaster.

“It’s been nice to get our community partners,” Kragnes said, “so police, EMS, all of our healthcare entities here locally, and all of our partners basically in the western half of North Dakota made it over to Beulah for the day. We wanted to get all of us together to gather and walk through it so if an emergency does happen — which we sure hope it doesn’t — but if it does, all of our staff are prepared and ready to keep our residents safe.”

Aarhus says that these mobile drills happen statewide, primarily in the spring through the fall.