EMA plans full-scale training exercise

Published 2:37 pm Friday, July 25, 2014

The Butler County Emergency Management Agency will hold a full-scale exercise July 31 in Greenville and McKenzie.

The exercise will involve local law enforcement, fire and rescue departments, emergency medical services, dispatch, and EMA, as well as federal and state agencies. In all 259 people are expected to be involved in the exercise, according to Butler County EMA Director Shirley Sandy.

There will be mock incidents taking place in several locations in the county that will generate heavy first responder traffic.

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“We will be conducting a full-scale hazardous materials exercise, and I stress this is only an exercise,” said Sandy. “This exercise is being held to challenge and strengthen our first responders’ skills, and to find areas that need improving.”

The exercise will take place in McKenzie and at the Mac Crenshaw Memorial Airport. A portion of the Gateway Plaza Shopping Center parking lot will serve as the staging area for the exercise.

“The shopping center will remain open for business and all stores will be accessible, but we are asking for the public to only use the entrance closest to Super Foods to avoid traffic delays,” Sandy said.

Sandy is asking the public to stay out the area during the exercise.

“This will be a secure exercise and every precaution is being taken to make this a safe incident, so we are asking that the general public not attend the exercise incident sites for their own safety and for the safety of the players of the exercise,” she said. “We want the public to be aware of, but not alarmed by, the intensity of the exercise.”

The exercise will begin at 6 a.m. in McKenzie and is expected to end around 4 p.m. in Greenville.