Emergency Management Students Participate in Great Miami River Exercise

On September 20, 2018, a massive emergency operation occurred on the Great Miami River in Butler County, Ohio. Although just a drill, the full-scale emergency exercise involved 50 departments and agencies and over 200 people focusing on how to respond to a full-scale disaster.

Ohio Christian University students in the Emergency Management Program observed and participated in the exercise. According to Emergency Management Director, Dr. Thad Hicks, "We need to practice our work in high-stress situations, understanding that decision-making in a crisis is quite different from normal decision-making.”

The exercise simulated a ruptured jet fuel pipeline leaking contaminants into the Great Miami River. Five components were tested surrounding the simulated leak:  water and hazmat operations, rescue transport to a hospital, emergency sheltering, and incident command.

Such practice events are treated as real-life scenarios that give participating emergency service agencies opportunity to work together and correct any issues they might come across.

This emergency exercise was considered a success as evaluators who observed the training determined, apart from a few gaps, participating agencies met preparedness criteria. Participating agencies will look at areas where they fell short and improve their response in the future.

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