Mid-valley emergency preparedness officials are planning an “active-threat” exercise for Saturday, June 22, at Crescent Valley High School.
The event will include up to 50 mid-valley first-responders, including the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, the Corvallis Police Department, the Albany Police Department, the Philomath Police Department and the Oregon State Police.
In addition, perhaps as many as 100 volunteers will be deployed either as victims or evacuees. No live weapons will be used in the exercise.
“This is a great training opportunity,” said Dave Busby, the emergency planning manager with the Corvallis Fire Department. “It gives us the opportunity to walk through the process and learn what we can do to be better. This is a proactive approach to making everybody better.”
The scenario that will take place in the drill involves two students who are viewed as “active threats,” with two adjacent school buildings being used as sites of the threats and the response.
The first goal, Busby said, will be to neutralize the threat. Next is saving lives. Emergency medical services crews will be on hand to train at “getting victims to the hospital as quickly as possible.”
Busby has been working all week in classroom sessions with Corvallis firefighters.
“They’ve really been engaged and helpful,” Busby said. “They make us think and ask questions that help us consider other ways of looking at situations.”
“We’re trying to build a coherent program. It’s an extremely complex problem. It’s a difficult problem for anyone to face, and it’s really relevant training and experience given the news that has been going on.”
The exercise is not a public event, and traffic control will be in place at these intersections: Crescent Valley/Lewisburg, Lewisburg/Highland and Crescent Valley/Highland. Local residents still will be able to get to their homes, Busby said.
In addition to the Crescent Valley exercise, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center will be participating in a medical triage drill on Thursday, June 20 at the hospital.