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Indiana Emergency Responders Taking Part In Full-Scale Disaster Response Exercise
Updated September 12, 2016 11:09 AM
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(JENNINGS CO.) - The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) is leading a full-scale disaster exercise for more than 300 emergency responders from various parts of the state starting Monday, September 12, and lasting until Thursday, September 15.

The exercise, taking place at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Jennings County, will simulate an earthquake in Indiana, resulting in damage and the need for evacuation, fire management and search and rescue, among other tasks.

"These exercises are one of the best ways Indiana's emergency personnel can practice disaster plans and procedures," said John Erickson, Public Affairs Director for IDHS. "This intense week allows responders to learn from near real life experience that will help them better serve Hoosiers in a real-life event. This is as real as it gets without an actual disaster."

Participants will face a realistic disaster setting that includes flooded homes, debris-littered streets, multiple buildings of many types and survivors in need of medical attention. The center allows all aspects of the response effort to be executed and evaluated without placing any lives at risk.

IDHS Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4 will participate in the week-long training exercise. IDHS Districts 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10 will also participate as "exercise control," helping to stage and simulate the activities necessary for the full-scale training.

All four IDHS Districts participating in the training will send Incident Management Teams, as well as other elements from their districts. District 1 and 2 are sending water rescue teams. District 2 will be sending their Technical Rescue Team and District 1 is also sending a mental health team. District 3 and 4 will be sending law enforcement and District 3 will send their K-9 teams. District 4 will also include fire and emergency medical services (EMS) in their training group.

Each IDHS Incident Management Team is comprised of professional emergency responders who volunteer to support other emergency response agencies around the state.

Other agencies and organizations taking part in the exercise include the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indiana State Department of Health, the Indiana State Police, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Integrated Public Safety Commission, Ohio All Hazard Incident Management Team and the Indiana National Guard.

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