Kansas health department participates in Vigilant Guard exercise

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) participated in the Vigilant Guard 2014 exercise on Monday and Tuesday with other state and federal agencies.

The two-day training focused on practicing response to a large-scale disaster.

The KDHE specifically practiced with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Staff practiced public information and resource and incident management skills.

KDHE received a package that represented more than 50 tons of medical supplies that could be available to Kansas in the event of an emergency. Those supplies would then be provided to health departments and hospitals in the disaster area to fill resource gaps.

The Vigilant Guard exercise was sponsored by the U.S. Northern Command and the National Guard Bureau.

Other organizations from Kansas that participated in the event included the Kansas National Guard and the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.

"Vigilant Guard gives us the opportunity to test our emergency response plans and capabilities, and to practice integrating the response efforts of civilian agencies and the National Guard, as well as to incorporate help from other states and also federal entities," Kansas National Guard Adjutant Gen. Lee Tafanelli said.