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Terrorist attack exercise needs volunteers

MILLERSPORT- Don’t panic! A mock August terrorist incident will only be a test of Buckeye Lake Area emergency services, but the need for volunteers is very real. Fairfield, Licking, and Perry counties are conducting a full-scale homeland security terrorist incident exercise with mock emergencies held in Thornville, Buckeye Lake North Shore, and the FairfieldBeach area.

In the Saturday, Aug. 25 exercise, a terrorist group attempts to disrupt Buckeye Lake Fourth of July celebrations by planting homemade explosives around the lake to cause casualties, induce panic and get national attention.

This type of exercise tests the abilities of the emergency responders and supporting agencies to respond to a major terrorist event. It allows involved departments, agencies and organizations to use and improve their operating procedures and communications.

Agencies include fire, EMS, and law enforcement agencies from all three counties, the Fairfield Red Cross, Salvation Army, Amateur Radio Club, Ohio State Patrol, FBI, the Ross County Regional Communications van, the FairfieldMedical Center, Licking Memorial Hospital, Mid Ohio Ambulance, FairfieldHealth Department, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, The Buckeye Lake State Park, the ODNR Lake Patrol, and the FairfieldCounty Coroner’s office.

Jon Kochis, director of the FairfieldCounty Officeof Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said the mock terrorist incident needs about 70 volunteers. These people will be playing “victims” of the exercise to be treated by responding agencies, and they will be “evacuees” who will go through a Red Cross shelter.

Thirty volunteers are needed at the emergency scenes for triage and treatment, 15 volunteers are needed at Licking Memorial Hospital, 15 are needed at Fairfield Medical Center, and 10 volunteers are needed to act as “walking wounded.” It should be an exciting time for those interested in participating.

If you would like to volunteer please contact Denise Schants with the Fairfield County EMA at (740) 654- 4357.

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