FEMA evaluators praise response in local exercise
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Oct 04, 2012 | 1081 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BRADLEY COUNTY EMERGENCY Medical Service’s Director Danny Lawson gets updates during a graded drill Wednesday for TVA’s Sequoyah Nuclear Plant. Bradley County Fire and Rescue’s Dewayne May and Cleveland Fire Department Chief Steve Haun are also pictured. Banner photo, GREG KAYLOR
BRADLEY COUNTY EMERGENCY Medical Service’s Director Danny Lawson gets updates during a graded drill Wednesday for TVA’s Sequoyah Nuclear Plant. Bradley County Fire and Rescue’s Dewayne May and Cleveland Fire Department Chief Steve Haun are also pictured. Banner photo, GREG KAYLOR
slideshow
Federal Emergency Management Agency evaluators praised the way things were handled during a mock nuclear disaster which Bradley County emergency managers took a role in Wednesday.

Three FEMA evaluators observed the actions of Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency, Bradley County and Cleveland Fire, SkyRidge Medical and Bradley County Emergency Medical Service, city and county schools officials and many others as a planned nuclear event drill unfolded Wednesday morning.

CBCEMA Administrative Officer Curtis Cline even utilized mock Nixle alerts to communicate events as they unfolded. Texts and calls were clearly noted as “This is a drill,” as not to cause fear of an actual event.

Tennessee Valley Authority and the Sequyoah Nuclear Plant were key players in the mock disaster. Emergency managers from surrounding counties which have residents within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone went into action as the scenario of a reported plane crash at the nuclear plant unfolded.

It was later learned that it was actually a helicopter which had crashed and damaged components of the cooling system which kept nuclear reactors from overheating.

A radiation release was reported.

During the early parts of the drill, Olin officials called for aid in Charleston.

A fire had injured two employees.

Bradley County School officials locked down Walker Valley High School and Charleston Elementary during the exercise. The fire was brought under control and all was well.

During this time, Gary Austin of Bradley County Schools was having students moved from Prospect Elementary to Ocoee Middle School.

Bradley County Sheriff’s deputies were making sure residents within the 10-mile EPZ were evacuated.

“Many people would be affected in Bradley County,” said Spence.

“We take part in drills to improve our skills in response to a variety of situations. This is a mandated exercise which all involved are graded on their response and actions,” Spence explained.

Spence said the FEMA evaluators were impressed with the performance of all players involved.

Approximately 1,000 people were involved in the overall management of the drill.