A mock disaster scenario will be issued Wednesday to Madison County first responders who will put their emergency preparedness skills to the test.

The annual community-wide exercise will begin at 7:45 a.m. at Clark-Moores Middle School.

Madison County Emergency Management Agency/Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (EMA/CSEPP) personnel will be working with representatives from the Blue Grass Army Depot, Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center, The Madison County Health Department, Eastern Kentucky University and Madison County schools, as well as local law enforcement agencies and fire departments.

Sirens located at the depot and the EMA/CSEPP Emergency Operations Center will be sounded to launch the exercise.

“Each year we strive to improve our readiness to deal with possible emergencies in Madison County,” said Madison County EMA Director Carl Richards. “These annual exercises have been taking place since 1990, and put our personnel through their paces to practice the plans we have in place. The cooperation among agencies makes us all better at what we do.”

“This exercise is unique due to the almost total participation of emergency management participants, from the local county level up to the state Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort,” said Kelly McBride, spokesperson for the county EMA.

As in previous years, the agencies will respond to a fictitious chemical weapons accident at the depot.

The media tour will begin at the middle school where media will meet their escorts, receive a briefing about the scenario and have an opportunity to interview school officials.

The exercise itself is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. at the school, then travel to Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center at 9 a.m. to observe patient decontamination and treatment.

The tour will move to the Madison County EOC (Emergency Operations Center) at 9:45 a.m. and at 10:20 a.m., guests on the tour will travel to the Joint Information Center (JIC) next door.

There, observers will see the JIC in full operation as public affairs specialists relay information to members of the local media.

“Although the exercises are for basic CSEPP training, the benefits are for all participating responding agencies-the practice paid off when we activated our resources during the ice storm and tornado earlier this year,” Richards said.

Anyone who would like to participate in the annual exercise should call Dick Sloan at the Blue Grass Army Depot at (859) 779-6897.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 624-6608.

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