Area towns participate in annual emergency preparedness drill

Area towns participate in annual emergency preparedness drill

reporter photo

Local police, fire and public works departments participated in the statewide Governor’s Emergency Planning and Preparedness Initiative this week.

This year’s training scenario involved a hurricane with flooding, downed trees, power outages and medical emergencies.

While most towns participate in a table discussion format, Wallingford added a live training component involving a car with a utility pole on top of it. 

“Our ability to respond is based on lessons learned in training,” Wallingford Fire Chief Richard Heidgerd said Wednesday afternoon, the day of the exercise.

During the drill, Wallingford firefighters practiced a real-time response, including radio communication.

Meriden, Southington and Cheshire also participated in the drill, opting for table discussions.

“I thought it went very well,” Cheshire Fire Chief Jack Casner said Thursday. “It was probably the most well-organized, well-orchestrated statewide drill we have participated in and we have participated in all of them.”

Casner said the hurricane scenario was very timely given the severe storm and tornadoes that hit the state last month.

Hurricane season in the northern Atlantic Ocean began June 1. 

Southington Deputy Fire Chief Scott DiBattista said the department also held a table discussion of the drill on a limited basis. 

Meriden Deputy Fire Marshal John Yacovino said the emergency management team set up in their center at the Police Department and ran through the scene as it was being relayed from the state emergency center in Hartford.

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