The District 2 Task Force wrapped up operations yesterday in the Winamac Town Park. Sherry Fagner, District 2 Service and Support Element Leader, explains what the exercise entailed.
“What we’ve done the last two days is set up our equipment, our base camp, and completed a field operation exercise,” said Fagner. “We’ve had a lot of people in from the state and the other task forces to check out what we have. A lot of the other task forces are in the learning stage of forming their service and support groups so they came in to see what we have. We’re doing some best practices from their groups as well as with ours.”
This camp would be set up in case of a disaster anywhere in the state. If a disaster would occur, District 2 would set up tents to house those who need shelter and food, plus deploy other entities.
“We have a law enforcement group, a medical group, incident management team, service and support, and also a fire suppression group. In District 2, we also have the tactical rescue team out of St. Joe County and Warsaw. Those are our main elements that we would take on the road,” said Fagner. “At any time, we can be ready to respond. Our goal is 120 people and right now we can take 80 people in the field and be self-sufficient for three days.”
She explains that the equipment used in this exercise can be used in a state disaster or a local need.
“It not only helps our district and local areas – it’s stuff that we can take in the field and be a response to other agencies, like the Henryville incident. Our task force did deploy down there. We didn’t take our support unit because we only took an incident management team to support them on the ground.”
She said one of the generators was used in Knox last week after a fierce storm ripped through the area knocking out power to thousands in Knox, the Starke County and the Northern Indiana area.
Another drill is expected to be organized in the fall or early winter and Fagner said it will probably be held in the Saint Joseph County area which is one of a few counties District 2 covers. Pulaski, Starke, Fulton and Marshall Counties are also included in District 2.