City committeemen asked to
in emergency response practice
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[JAN. 14, 2004]
Alderman Buzz Busby said
that Lincoln City Council committee members, along with Mayor Beth
Davis and other local officials, are being asked to participate in
the Emergency Services Disaster Agency drill scheduled for May 8.
The practice will be the first of its kind at the local level in the
state of Illinois. o be posted
City, county, state and federal
agencies will collaborate with local leaders in an effort to protect
the public during a series of mock incidents lasting up to 10 hours.
This will be a field exercise, and the Crisis Management Center will
be opened. Officials, emergency response directors and planning
teams will coordinate actions from the Crisis Management Center
while others do the work in the field. Communications, as always,
will be the key element.
This practice is part of national
homeland security directives. All counties in Illinois will be
required to do one. Logan County was asked in September by Gov.
Blagojevich to host the first bioterrorism practice at the local
level that coordinates with all levels of government. The county was
chosen based on a list of criteria completed or near completion.
The emphasis of this exercise is on
bioterrorism. Handling hazardous material, whether it is a chemical
or biological agent, is much the same whether it is an act of
terrorism, an industrial, agricultural or other accident. So, the
efforts and expense of this exercise have broad and practical
applications beyond that of a potential terrorism act.
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The difference is that the first
emergency responders on a scene must consider if it could be a
planned terrorism act. If it is suspect, it will be treated as a
crime scene and consideration must be given to the potential for
Then first responders will work to
protect themselves and care for victims, as usual, but will also act
to preserve the crime scene if possible.
In the Crisis Management Center,
officials will coordinate actions on the field, attempt to
anticipate further complications and make a plan to alert and
protect the general public.
This is the basic emergency response
protocol for a suspect bioterrorism incident that is being practiced
practice will entitle the county to request federal Homeland
Security funds that the state will receive for distribution to
counties. Additional or new emergency equipment can be purchased
with those funds.