First responders, educators and medical professionals gathered Wednesday in Dadeville for a tabletop exercise to make sure they are ready in the event of a disaster – in this case an active shooter across three locations.
Tallapoosa County EMA director Jason Moran was pleased with the results of the exercise and said it also will aid in a full-scale community-based exercise next week.
“It went well for a tabletop,” Moran said. “There were a couple things that were identified to be looked at and worked on. They were mainly in operations but nothing major.”
It also gives those individuals who have not worked with other agencies a chance to get to know other partners in the community in a lower stress situation.
“Whether it’s the tabletop or full scale, these exercises bring people together so they can network and get to know each other so if they have an incident, it is not the first time they see each other,” Moran said. “They exchange phone numbers and emails and such to keep up with one another.”
Moran said everyone involved hopes to never have to put things learned through the exercise use. The goals of the exercise are developed by each group.
“Each agency comes up with their own objectives,” Moran said. “Everyone has input on the front end. We hope it never happens but we need to be ready.”
Involved in the tabletop exercise at Dadeville Healthcare were the Dadeville Police Department, Jacksons Gap Police Department, Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department, Dadeville Healthcare, Tallapoosa EMS, Lake Martin Community Hospital and the Tallapoosa County Board of Education. The goal of the tabletop is to let the agencies start to talk to each other and discover what the needs of each are before the full-scale exercise so it can be more productive, but not without throwing in a few wrinkles.
“We do the tabletop to make the community-based exercise go better,” Moran said. “We will have a few new things to throw at them (in the exercise).”
Moran said next week’s exercise in Dadeville Friday will feature role players who will look the part of just being involved in a shooting or whatever could happen.
“They will be moulaged,” Moran said. “They will look like they are bleeding and closely match what injuries in an incident may look like.”
The training exercise will not be complete after the community-based exercise.
“After the full-scale exercise, we will do an after-action review to see what went well and what we need to work on,” Moran said. “It helps the agencies to identify training and resource needs for meeting the demands of an incident.”
Moran said another community-based exercise is scheduled for June 10 in Alexander City and will include a school. It will involve the Alexander City police and fire departments, Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department, Russell Medical and the Alexander City Board of Education.