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Emergency Management Holds Eclipse Planning Exercise For First Responders

by Stephanie Baker

First responders and other personnel from throughout the county met on Dec. 6 at the First Security Bank Community Room to participate in a tabletop exercise to prepare for the upcoming eclipse on April 8.

The collaborative effort, led by Director of Emergency Management Rickey Casey and Deputy Director of Emergency Management Klay Rowbotham, included an hour-by-hour walkthrough of the four-day event weekend with realistic hypothetical emergencies that may arise due to a large amount of tourists, difficult road conditions, local events, and possible shortages of resources. The situations included lost persons, traffic accidents, various medical emergencies, and an influx of 911 calls. The group discussed each set of emergencies in specific time frames and allocated their resources, deciding which cases took priority and what problems could arise from blocked roads and campsites throughout the community.

Representatives from local schools, police departments, search and rescue teams, and medical response teams discussed their strengths and weaknesses during the exercise and how they could better prepare for the eclipse event over the next four months.

The next community eclipse planning meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 24, in the courthouse conference room.

Photo: Klay Rowbotham, Johnson County Deputy Director of Emergency Management leads a tabletop exercise during a community planning meeting Dec. 6, in preparation for the solar eclipse on April 8.  –Graphic photo by Stephanie Baker

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