Noble Resolve ‘08
July 31, 2008
Having worked as a paramedic and a police officer, I’ve taken part in many disaster drills over the years. At least once a year, the local emergency response agencies, police departments, sheriff’s departments, EMS, hospitals, fire departments, local emergency preparedness agencies, state law enforcement agencies and others that might be called into play during an emergency, took part in these drills. This allowed us to practice situations, such as large disasters and how our agencies would work together during those times. In April 2001, I was able to see how these drills pay off, when an F4 tornado hit my hometown. While things didn’t operate totally without problems, I can say that things could have been much worse, if the agencies that were involved hadn’t taken part in these disaster drills over the years. We were lucky, very lucky. Only one person lost their life and several more were seriously injured and they were able to receive medical assistance very quickly due to the quick responses made by emergency personnel.
In an exercise that began July 28th and ends on August 1st, federal, state and local agencies in the states of Virginia, Oregon, Colorado and Indiana participated in Noble Resolve ‘08, designed to test disaster preparedness communications and coordination systems. The exercise was sponsored by US Joint Forces Command that is based in Norfolk, Va.
“We can’t afford to wait …. the timeliness and robustness of response is too important to leave it to a sort of ‘pickup game’ in the event of a natural or man-made disasters,” said Air Force Col. Gene Taylor.
Also participating in this exercise are elements of the US Northern Command, the National Guard Bureau and the Department of Homeland Security. Having worked in emergency response fields, I can’t say enough about how important it is to ensure that responders know what to do and that any communication barriers are taken out of the equation. It’s important in these types of situations that response is quick and timely and that the agencies involved are aware of the resources available to them and that the willingness is there to share information. These situations can only be improved upon, if regular disaster drills are conducted, so that the problems can be corrected before an emergency situation occurs, instead of attempting to do so, during the situation. By then, it might make the difference between life and death for some folks. I’ll be interested in hearing how well the event worked and what problems were identified.
- http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=50644 [↩]