Preparedness & Recovery

Only a Drill: Training for Possible Disaster

'Drills like these are important to test area responders and build a better working relationship between agencies in the event of a real disaster.'

by Sarah Hawley, The Daily Sentinel, Pomeroy, Ohio / May 17, 2017
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(TNS) - What would you do if…..

That was the question put before multiple county agencies and first responders on Saturday as part of a mock disaster drill held at the Meigs County Fairgrounds and Meigs High School.

“Drills like these are important to test area responders and build a better working relationship between agencies in the event of a real disaster,” stated Meigs County EMA Director Jamie Jones.

Arriving at the school on Saturday morning, first responders, actors and others were given information on the scenario for their role in the mock disaster.

EMS, fire fighters, the Red Cross, EMA and many others were to play out the situation as if it were a real disaster which they were responding to.

The hazardous materials emergency drill was conducted by the Meigs County Emergency Management Agency and Local Emergency Preparedness Committee to test the skills and knowledge of local agencies should there be a real emergency.

“This year’s drill was held at the Meigs County Fairgrounds and involved a truck which was hauling chlorine cylinders crashing near a crowd of people,” stated a release regarding the drill.

“Just as in a real life scenario fire, EMS, and law enforcement were dispatched to the scene where they discovered the hazardous materials involved as well as numerous patients. The Pomeroy Fire Department and Meigs County EMS worked together to get the patients to safety and transported to Holzer Meigs Emergency Department. As the drill progressed an incident command center was established by the Pomeroy Fire Department and the Jackson County (Ohio) Emergency Response Team was dispatched to the scene to control the hazardous material release. Due to the crowd of people and possible nearby residence needing temporarily relocated in the scenario the American Red Cross and Meigs County Medical Reserve Corp contacted to establish a shelter,” the release stated on the procedures followed during the drill.

As the drill progressed, evaluators documented the series of events, evaluating everything from flow of traffic to the information provided by the public information officer to the media and general public.

The total drill lasted roughly two hours and involved around 100 people from various agencies. Following the drill a debriefing was held which involved the participating agencies and evaluators who judged participates on their abilities to handle the situation at hand.

The agencies who participated in the May 13th drill were the Meigs County EMA / LEPC, Ohio EMA, Pomeroy Fire Department, Meigs County EMS, Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Jackson County Emergency Response Team, Medflight, Holzer Meigs Emergency Department, Meigs County Health Department, Meigs County Medical Reserve Corp, American Red Cross, local media outlets and students from Meigs and Eastern High Schools.

Director Jones stated he would “like to thank everyone who volunteered in this year’s drill and making it a success.”

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©2017 The Daily Sentinel (Pomeroy, Ohio)

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