Local Organizations Participate in FEMA ExerciseSubmitted article
Local Douglas organizations participated in a full scale exercise on Wednesday May 09. This was the fourth exercise in a series of emergency preparedness exercises conducted in Douglas.
The exercises were funded through a Homeland Security Grant, which was administered by the Cochise County Emergency Management Office. All exercises were conducted in accordance with the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP).
Participants in the exercise included the Douglas Unified School District, Douglas Fire Department, Douglas Police Department, Sierra Vista Unified School District, Sierra Vista Police Department, Rio Rico Fire Department, Yuma County Emergency Management, Cochise County Emergency Services Office, United Stated Border Patrol and Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.
The exercise consisted of a hazardous situation at Stevenson Elementary School, located at 2200 11th St. in which all staff and students were evacuated to another location. DFD and DPD then conducted their portion of the exercise at the school while all Stevenson staff and students remained at the Douglas High School Gymnasium and school staff from both schools assisted in the monitoring and accountability of all Stevenson school students.
The previous exercises (2 table tops and 1 functional) were used to prepare for this last exercise. The previous exercises tested plans, policies and procedures, while this exercise was a practical application of those plans, policies and procedures.
The exercise planning team which consisted of Fire Chief Mario Novoa, Police Lt. Kraig Fullen and DUSD Security and Transportation Director Luis Greer, would like to thank all the residents in and around the Stevenson School area for their cooperation and understanding during our exercise, as well as the staff and students of Stevenson School and all DUSD staff who allowed and participated in this very important emergency preparedness exercise.
“We would additionally like to thank the tireless efforts of our Cochise County Emergency Manager; Mr. Mike Evans and Elizabeth Philhower who have allowed The City of Douglas to be the first City in Cochise County to complete the FEMA HSEEP program,” Chief Novoa said. “The exercise series will assist both the City of Douglas and DUSD with improving their emergency response plans.”