Responders Across Indiana Train for Disaster Using Incident Management Equipment from Reeves EMS

This May, responders from several counties in Indiana took part in a training event organized by the Hamilton County Health Department.

During the training, personnel set up an incident management site using equipment belonging to several departments in the area.

Officials in Hamilton County organized the recent exercise as a way to help coordinate emergency management planning throughout the region. Though personnel from Hamilton and its neighboring counties have long hoped to create a unified disaster response plan, they say that recent events have made it clearer than ever that such coordination is critical.

“The nature of the emergencies for which we prepare knows no boundaries,” says Chad Jenkins, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Hamilton County Health Department. “Last year’s H1N1 outbreak, for example, was global; it didn’t recognize state or county borders. It’s crucial that departments across the area be able to work together when a disaster like that occurs.”

As part of the exercise, responders set up a DRASH MX Shelter and Reeves Incident Command Post (ICP) Trailer belonging to Hamilton County. The facilities were purchased from DHS Technologies to be used as a mobile dispensing site, command post and numerous other applications across the county.

Also on hand was a DRASH 3XB Shelter from the Madison County Health Department, as well as a Reeves ICP Trailer purchased by the Marion County Health Department in early 2009.
“Because several nearby counties are using the same type of equipment, we can combine our facilities and work together if we need to,” explains Jenkins.

Personnel from nearby Boone County, the Westfield Fire Department in Hamilton County and Project K.I.D. – an organization dedicated to helping children who recently survived a disaster or emergency event – also attended the training.

Having already received requests from other counties across the area to be included in similar exercises in the future, Jenkins says that his department plans to hold a larger training event next year.

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