Starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, the West Jefferson Emergency Preparedness Work Group will be hosting a DART (Disaster Airlift Response Team) exercise.
DART is volunteer citizen pilots who will be flying in supplies and transporting injured to medical facilities in the event of a major disaster.
The training will be held at the Forks Airport with parking across from Russell Road. This will be a teaching exercise for the community and, as many folks as practical, will have an opportunity to participate to get a feeling of what the procedures involve.
Initially, all we will have to rely on is each other; that’s why we have been working in concert with various county emergency management, tribal and first responder groups to teach us to prepare for any catastrophic event.
We are making progress. Along with the DART exercise will be various tables set up with relevant printed information for you take home to study and encourage you to get involved.
There will also be a raffle to raise funds for the Quinault Amateur Radio Club (Ham radio) which will be an emergency communications link that will help meet the needs of our communities.
This past Saturday, the Toandos Emergency Preparedness Committee (TEPC) conducted an emergency response drill in Coyle. Approximately 40 people participated.
The drill consisted of the following sequence of events:
Emergency Response Center activated at the Coyle Community Club on Hazel Point. This included standing up communications, Operations, registration and medical areas within the center, established communications with three local neighborhoods (Dietz/Smith; South Churchill; North Churchill), “injured person” needing medical attention was ambulanced, reported our status to Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management via HAM radio, requested an airlift seaplane from Kenmore Air via HAM radio – they responded affirmatively, activated a “Disaster Airlift Response Team” (DART) in the backyard of the Coyle Community Center and that team:
• simulated spotting, flagging in, and docking the plane
• communicated status from “the beach” with the ERC via Ham Radio
• took the injured patient on backboard from the medical team.
• transported the injured to the airplane (a picnic table stood in for the plane)
• loaded and tied down the injured in the plane
All of the above was completed in approximately 2.5 hours.
It’s important for us to learn what we need to do to help and care for each other in a situation where we are geographically isolated from the resources we need to survive in an emergency.
The models we create in advance that are specific to each of our communities will determine how we handle things and what sort of a response we get.
There are some really knowledgeable and amazing people in our community who know a lot about the various pieces of the puzzle that need to be fitted together to make this work. We all can play a part so come out and join with each other to help make this event a success.
Please call Jimmy Conomos at 360-374-2270 or Carol Young at 360-374-6054 with any questions you might have.