|Disaster drill tests, refines emergency responder policies and procedures|
|Friday, 14 June 2013 00:00|
CHOCTAW COUNTY ––Emergency workers participated with law enforcement, government agencies, the Red Cross and other municipalities Thursday morning in an emergency drill led by Choctaw County Emergency Management ––Pat and Lewis Collins, Sheila Gibbs and Ed Bernard in the comm center.
The drill dealt with a National Weather Service bulletin scenario, beginning with a tornado touching down at Goodland, where a (pretend) youth rally was being held. The Choctaw County Ambulance Authority and Choctaw Memorial Hospital also sustained damage from the storm, and a truck hauling hazardous material was overturned near the elementary school. Several municipalities assisted with the scenario, including Boswell, Sawyer, Soper, Grant, Bluff and Nelson.
According to Emergency Management representative, Lewis Collins, the scenario was prepared to set participants up for failure. “Those involved in this drill handled every aspect of the emergency very well,” Collins said. “They were very calm and collected. We did NOT fail.”
Once the debriefing was complete following the drill, participating agencies prepared after-action reports to help devise an improvement plan to repair flawed situations. According to Collins, the backup communication systems and all involved worked well for the drill. “There were a few flaws, and this drill helped bring them to light. Once the improvement plans are complete, they should be corrected.”
The purpose of the emergency drill, which has been two months in the making, was to test and refine existing policies and procedures and to give local