Emergency Preparedness Drill held in Williamson

Rachel Baldwin rbaldwin@civitasmedia.com

November 12, 2013

WILLIAMSON - As the Fire Chief of the City of Williamson, it is important to Jerry Mounts that his department be prepared for any and all types of emergencies or disasters, and training is the key to assure that fact rings true.

Acting along with interim Mingo County Homeland Security Director Doug Goolsby, the November 2nd training exercise was conducted in accordance with the Evaluation Program HSEEP guidelines, and featured a scenario of a simulated hazardous materials leak inside the Williamson Water Plant. Members of the Chattaroy Volunteer Fire Department, under the direction of their Chief, Joe Rumore, also participated in the drill.

The multi-agency operational training exercise tested the first responder’s capability to mitigate a simulated hazardous materials leak within the plant, and to properly extricate two victim’s who were overcome by toxic fumes. Firefighters had to correctly identify the chemicals involved in the training scenario and take appropriate actions based upon the recommendations published in the applicable industry standard emergency response manuals. A high-output commercial smoke generator and two rescue manikins helped produce real-world scenario affects for the drill.

The Williamson Department responded with three engine companies, two rescue vehicles, one incident command vehicle and one hazmat decontamination trailer. A post incident analysis, referred to as a “hot-wash”, was attended by all participants who participated. The meeting was held at the Williamson fire station after the concusion of the drill and allowed the fire fighters’ and first responders’ performance to be critqued, as well as a question and answer session that provided further input for all.

The Williamson Fire Department continues to strive to better serve the residents of their city and pledge their commitment to further their education and to be prepared for a variety of problems that could prove devestating, if training to properly handle it is not in place.