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Disaster exercise evaluates readiness

by staff

The results are in. Truckee agencies have the ability to work well together, and respond efficiently should disaster strike the community.

In the Town of Truckee and local agencies’ biggest large-scale disaster emergency exercise to date, Operation Shake ‘n Bake was completed Tuesday with only minor emergencies: multiple trauma victims, a threatening wildfire, the loss of important utilities, hazardous material spills and mass evacuations.

Fortunately, the trauma victims walked away from the disaster as accomplished actors and actresses, and the simulated disaster emergencies were easy to clean up.

Tuesday’s operation followed the Town of Truckee’s Emergency Action Plan, and an Incident Command Center was staged at Truckee Fire Station 92. The ICC functioned under the joint command of Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, Truckee Fire and Protection District and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The goal of the real-time full scale exercise was to help the agencies involved evaluate their roles in the mitigation of an emergency in the community.

According to Tamara Blanton of the Town of Truckee and one of the design coordinators of the exercise, all agencies involved should be commended for their actions.

“During the debriefing, it was determined that all objectives of the exercise were met,” she said. “The exercise design team was very pleased with the results. All agencies involved worked well together and mitigated each simulated threat as it was presented to them.”

The exercise was a learning experience for all involved, Blanton said. Exercises like this help test and train the emergency management system and improve the skills necessary to efficiently and effectively react to emergencies.

Reno-based REMSA personnel were one of the cooperating agencies that participated in the exercise.

“We’ve done mutual aid work with Truckee before,” REMSA’s Jim Gubbels said. “The more we practice this, the better we’re going to be. Communication is the key to this.”

Blanton said the Emergency Preparedness Drill Committee hopes to continue performing similar exercises on a regular basis.


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