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Emergency Preparedness Fair held in Cooperstown

By NICOLE PITT

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) - The past few days have certainly taught many that anything can happen anywhere, and that in the interest of being prepared for major emergency situations, the Bassett Medical Center hosted its annual Emergency Preparedness Fair on Friday.

The Bassett network covers 5,500 square miles, dozens of medical facilities and that network was affected by the shootings in the valley this week.

On Friday at the Bassett Clinic in Cooperstown, there were a dozen booths set up, all having to do with preparing for an emergency. Earlier this week, when the shots were first reported in both Herkimer and Mohawk, several area medical clinics went on lock down.

Officials said the preparedness fair is an annual reminder for both employees and residents on what they can do to prepare.

Whether it be a mass casualty event like what took place this week or an event developed by mother nature, such as Hurricane Sandy, Irene or Lee, there are many wheels behind the scenes that are set into motion, and local officials are prepared for the worst.

"Respectfully, I can tell you anyone that says 'it can't happen here' is naïve or doesn't watch television," said Security Manager Harold Southworth. "There is no place exempt from violence. It is everywhere. We train for it. We train hard. Actually, within the Security Department that we have, we are in the process of adding full-time security to our Cobleskill area. We are constantly expanding and training is a huge part of that and we have to train for everything from and we have to be prepared."

"All employees take this very seriously and that includes finding alternate routes to work or signing up for New York Alert for road closures and things of that nature," said Brinton Muller, Network Emergency Preparedness Manager.

Bassett Medical Center encourages its employees to keep a "go bag" with any essentials in case of an emergency, saying the key is to prepare before a disaster.

The fair runs until 5 p.m. on Friday.

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