Tri-Village News

Emergency situation exercise

Grandview agencies team up to test response plans

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Grandview Heights divisions of police and fire and the Grandview Heights City School District will participate in a day-long training exercise Thursday, April 4, coordinated by the Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security.

The exercise is scheduled to last from about 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Emergency vehicles will be parked around the high school throughout the day, Grandview police officer Ryan Starns said.

"We want to make sure people realize this is just a training exercise and that not a real situation," he said.

The multi-jurisdiction, multi-agency exercise will include simulations of a terrorist incident and a hazardous material situation said Kelly McGuire, FCEM&HS public affairs officer.

"We are required by law to do these training exercises on an annual basis," McGuire said. "We try to include as many agencies and jurisdictions as we can."

The exercise is designed to test information sharing and to evaluate response plans among the participating communities and agencies and the Franklin County Joint Emergency Operation Center, she said.

Along with Grandview, the Westerville City School District and Westerville police and fire departments also plan to participate in the exercise, McGuire said.

Other participants include the Chemical Emergency Preparedness Advisory Council; American Red Cross; Central Ohio Trauma Systems; HandsOn Ohio; Central Ohio Transit Authority; Central Ohio Amateur Radio Emergency Service; Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County; Franklin County Public Health and the Franklin County Homeland Security and Justice programs.

The simulation will involve incidents at the high school in Grandview and at a building in Westerville, the exact location of which McGuire could not confirm.

Grandview officers and firefighters from all shifts will be participating in the exercise, Starns said.

The participants will not know what scenario is involved in the simulation until the exercise begins, McGuire said.

While the Grandview Board of Education office in the high school will be open, Superintendent Ed O'Reilly sent out an email announcement asking community members and students, who are on spring break this week, to stay out of the high school throughout the day.

Anyone needing to reach the district on April 4 should contact Teresa Rill at 614-485-4016.