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Photos submitted by Coosa County Sheriff’s Office
By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
First responders throughout Coosa County took part in a county-wide emergency exercise last Saturday in Hanover.
The county has not had one of these types of exercises in a while, with the exercises being headed by the Emergency Management Agency.
Sheriff Michael Howell said that a couple of months ago he, representatives with county fire departments and EMS, EMA Director Sheldon Hutcherson, Superintendent of Education David Stover, and Coosa County’s E-911 met to begin planning the exercise.
He explained that those types of exercises are targeted to help evaluate the law enforcement, fire and EMS aspect of responding to an emergency situation.
This year the group utilized the school facility and campus in Hanover for the exercise. The scenario used was that a tornado had hit the school, resulting in multiple injuries.
Howell said that they role played for the exercise, with volunteers acting as the “victims” and other needed parties. They had a special response team inside the school building, and law enforcement also underwent various calls for assorted reasons, helping give the sense of a real-life situation to help them be prepared in such an emergency.
Howell said that there were more than 60 participants, including the role play volunteers and first responders. He said all of Coosa County’s volunteer fire departments participated, as well as most of the fire chiefs, EMA, E-911, and students from the school system.
Regarding the county-wide exercise, which also helps the county in getting grants, Howell said, “It helps out in all aspects of emergency response in the county.”
“I appreciate everyone coming out and taking part in it,” he added. “It is a learning experience for everyone. It helps all of us be prepared and evaluate our response to emergencies.”
Additionally, the role play exercise helps highlight the real-life service first responders provide in the county, with all of the county’s fire departments and EMS being volunteer based.
“I appreciate everything the first responders do and the sacrifices they make to help everyone in Coosa County,” Howell stated.