What Training Are You Doing?

Inter-Agency Emergency Preparedness Training

In the cases of large scale accident or disasters, a number of local and state government agencies and area businesses may find themselves being forced to coordinate on various aspects of relief services. With separate jurisdictions and responsibilities all coming into play at times of heightened crisis, it can be far too easy to create more confusion and cause a delay in necessary services due to questions of responsibility. Large-scale training and mock scenario drills are one way to ensure that all of the different organizations and entities know their respective roles in actual emergencies.

“Triage, Treat, Transport”

At a recent mass drill in Johnson County, Texas, fourteen different agencies came together for a training exercise in large scale emergency management, all of them focusing on the principles of expediting the triage, treatment, and transport of affected community stakeholders. That particular region of Texas fell victim to back-to-back large-scale crisis events in the past year, first with the explosion of a fertilizer factory, quickly followed by a line of storms that produced violent, life-threatening tornados.

Apart from local law enforcement in both county sheriff’s and city police departments, Johnson County has nine different fire departments, three major hospitals, and an air lift team, all of which need to be able to work efficiently at a moment’s notice.

Centralized Command Vehicle Increases Communication in an Emergency

One of the most difficult aspects of disaster preparedness may be knowing where authority reverts to in case of a crisis and being able to communicate within the various agencies who come on board. Johnson County’s Burleson Fire Department tested its new mobile command truck at the recent disaster drill, bringing a vehicle outfitted for the specific purpose of being a centralized communications transport hub in the event that power lines and phone service disruption occurs in an emergency. A disruption in radio communications has been named as one of the factors that resulted in the deaths of so many emergency responders on September 11th, 2001; by testing communications equipment well ahead of an actual emergency, authorities hope to minimize or even eliminate casualties among those who are working to serve.

Training for a Real Event

Emergency personnel for the county-wide Johnson County drill selected a site that they deemed likely to experience an emergency, given that the industry works on perforating systems for the oil and gas industry. By holding their training at Owen Oil Tools, county officials and agents hope that they will be familiar with the types of casualties and crisis that they may face should the worst happen.