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Commission reviews three-year training and exercise plan

by Chris Olson

Posted on 6/18/2016

wo tabletop exercises and a full-scale training exercise at Jamestown Regional Airport are planned for this summer, according to information from the Stutsman County Local Emergency Planning Committee.

At its meeting Friday, the committee reviewed a schedule of training and exercises planned for the rest of 2016 and through 2019. Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager and 911 coordinator, said the LEPC must review each year''s plan as it comes up.

"The first year (plan) is really the one that is pretty well set," he said. "When it comes to year two and year three, it (the plan) becomes more vague and we will have to review those years again as they come up."

The next training exercise on the plan for 2016 will be held Thursday. Bergquist said this exercise will be a tabletop exercise, meaning participants will sit around a table and react to a scenario as it''s presented. This is not the same as a full-scale exercise, where multiple agencies are involved and generally go to a physical location and act out responding to an emergency.

The June 23 tabletop exercise will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the basement meeting room of the Stutsman County Law Enforcement Center. Participants will include medical agencies, like Jamestown Area Ambulance, Jamestown Regional Medical Center and other related agencies. The exercise will give these agencies a chance to go over procedures for how they would respond in a given emergency situation.

Bergquist said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will hold a tabletop exercise on July 28 at the LEC on Pipestem Dam. He said participants in the exercise have not yet been identified and the exercise will be organized by Corps of Engineers officials.

Each year the LEPC has to hold one full-scale exercise. Bergquist said this year''s full-scale exercise will be held Aug. 8 at the Jamestown Regional Airport. He said a scenario and which agencies will be participating in the exercise has not yet been determined. Planning meetings will be scheduled soon.

Two other tabletop exercises are tentatively planned for August or September and in November.

The November exercise will likely be a grain elevator extraction exercise that includes Stutsman and Foster counties.

For year two, the full-scale exercise is tentatively scheduled for August 2017 and would be hosted by Jamestown Rural Fire Department. The LEPC has also tentatively scheduled a tabletop exercise for October 2018 that would have a scenario where the Stutsman County Fairgrounds would need to be evacuated for an emergency event.

Bergquist said all the year two and year three training events will be revisited as those plans will come before the LEPC again.