Emergency responders practice their craft

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 30, 2004

The scenario was not for real but still frightening: an explosion at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds during fair week.

The Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency hosted a tabletop exercise Tuesday to test the county's emergency operations and coordinated response to large scale emergencies. Emergency responders from throughout Lawrence County spent the day planning their coordinated response in the event the unthinkable happens.

"It's important to do this to make sure we have everything together and in place in case something does happen," EMA/911 Director Don Mootz said. "We can't wait until an incident occurs."

Email newsletter signup

While this tabletop exercise had terrorism as the focal point of its scenario, the lessons learned could be applied to a

number of large-scale emergencies, according to Ohio Emergency Management Agency exercise program manager Darren Price.

"Not only acts of terrorism but any events of this magnitude,"

Price said. "This could cross over to hazmat (hazardous materials accidents) or flooding and things of this nature."

Price said one outcome of the session is that the different agencies can get the chance to network with each other in hopes of developing a strong working relationship.

The tabletop exercise was at the EMA office in Ironton.