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EMA drill to be held this weekend

Police, fire, ambulance and other emergency personnel will face disaster Saturday.

Friday, April 20, 2001

Police, fire, ambulance and other emergency personnel will face disaster Saturday.

The Local Emergency Planning Committee will hold its annual hazardous material exercise beginning at 10 a.m. at Collins Career Center.

"Our scenario will be a tanker truck has been hit by a car that has then left the scene," said Ironton Fire Department chief Tom Runyon, who chairs the LEPC’s exercise committee.

Fire departments, police, highway patrol officers, deputies, emergency medical personnel with SEOEMS, amateur radio operators and the American Red Cross will respond to the mock disaster.

The drill will involve firefighters determining the nature of the flammable liquid involved, evacuation procedures, decontamination procedures, caring for wounded or victims at the scene, an airlift by helicopter, and other emergency operations. St. Mary’s Hospital in Huntington, W.Va., will also participate.

"We’ll have nearly 100 people working," Runyon said, adding the exercise is meant for practice and to test the county’s response plan.

"We have a county plan for large-scale emergencies, and at least once every four years we have to test this plan on a full-scale level," he said. "We look at the plan, see what worked and correct it if we find problems. It’s good practice for everyone."

The disaster will be broadcast over emergency frequencies as a "drill" or "exercise." Emergency responders will not travel public streets with lights and sirens.

Traffic in the Getaway area will not be affected, but some personnel involved with traffic control will hand out safety information, Runyon said.

The disaster exercise will begin at 10 a.m. There will be critique following the exercise, which is open to the public.

The critique will begin at approximately 1 p.m. at Collins Career Center. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.