ZANESVILLE, Ohio — The Muskingum County Emergency Management Agency and first-responders will be conducting a full scale exercise on Saturday morning, starting at 8AM.
The locations of the exercise will be the EMA’s Emergency Operations Center, Ohio University/Zane State College, Genesis Hospital, and a shelter location.
“Once every four years we have to do a full-scale, or ‘boots-on-the-ground’ drill, and that’s what this will be. There will be police, fire, EMS, EMA, everybody that you can think of playing. They’ll be on the scene and acting just as if they would in a normal incident,” said EMA Director Bo Keck.
Keck advised that he did not want to discuss what mock incident(s) would be in play tomorrow as the players themselves do not know, which is done intentionally so they do not have an opportunity to prepare or plan their reaction ahead of time. Keck adds that while all responders work under the “Incident Command System” and have completed NEMS training, this exercise is an opportunity for them to all practice working together and responding to an incident properly.
Emergency vehicles will be traveling between Ohio University- Zanesville/Zane State campus and the hospital during the morning so we urge caution while in the area. Local residents may also hear communication over police scanners tomorrow, but any communication involving the exercise will be prefaced with “this is a drill.”
“Out here at our EOC there will be quite a few people out here initially. And then in the [OU-Zanesville]/Zane State area is where the rest of this is going to take place. It will not be on a roadway, it will be off the roadway so we don’t impair any traffic or anything like that, but that’s where they’re going to see a lot of emergency vehicles,” added Keck.
The EMA says that they hope to be completely done with the exercise by noon, at which time they will complete their after-action report and review the drill with all parties involved. Approximately 150-200 people are expected to be evaluated during the exercise.