Published On: Wed, May 1st, 2013

County exercise yields valuable information

HARTINGTON — The time is 10 a.m. and temperatures are supposed to reach the 90s. It is just another normal late Spring day in Hartington — for now.

Something is brewing in the west though, and soon, the National Weather Service holds a conference call for emergency managers briefing them on the potential for dangerous severe weather headed this way.

By noon, a team of professional storm chasers have spotted a funnel cloud just west of Hartington. 911 dispatch is being flooded with calls from people wondering why the sirens are going off.

A call comes in at 12:12 p.m. that help is needed at the Cedar County Fairgrounds where several people are injured. A few minutes later, an EMS and ambulance crew makes its way to the location.

Emergency responders from various Fire, EMS and Emergency Management departments, came together to practice how to handle such a scenario by participating in a full-scale disaster exercise.

“The intent is to allow responders to practice their skills and exercise our emergency plans in a simulated setting that mirrors real life conditions as closely as possible,” said Cedar County Emergency Management Director Kevin Garvin.

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