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Emergency training

Aug 30, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck

This week's drill was planned, but sometimes responders use a 'live' call for extra practice

You might have wondered why emergency personnel occasionally take more time than they appear to need in certain situations, going through more procedures, and summoning more personnel.

Caution and thoroughness are different names of the same game in law enforcement, firefighting or other emergency response, of course. These people are careful, which is exactly how we all want them to be.

But sometimes there is another reason for taking a few extra "reps" at an emergency scene.

Training.

If circumstances permit, emergency responders might go through some additional motions at the site of a cop call or a fire alarm because it gives them a chance to do some "live" practice once the situation at hand has been resolved.

They can never know exactly what they will find when responding to an alarm, but they make sure they are as prepared as possible for it.

Tuesday's countywide emergency management drill was a more-organized training exercise. Many people noticed emergency vehicles on the move in greater numbers than usual, along with uniformed personnel, flashing lights and sirens.

With good planning and execution, a drill can go a long way toward improving preparedness and keeping a sharper edge on the readiness of our police, firefighters and ambulance staff. Drills also are good for testing new or revised procedures, checking out new equipment, and bringing new personnel up to speed.

But a full-scale emergency drill can't be done every day, or even every month. So, under the right conditions, uniformed personnel might take advantage of a certain opportunity to work in a bit of added process even when it appears to us outsiders that the fire is out, the scene is clear, and the emergency is over.

If you see it, don't be alarmed. It's just our emergency responders working to keep us safer the next time around.

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