BUTLERVILLE — In September, nine Daviess County residents participated in a full-scale disaster response exercise at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center that included a simulated flood and widespread destruction from an EF3 tornado.
Dubbed “Without Warning,” the four-day event was held Sept. 24-28 by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) to evaluate the 12 counties of District 10: Daviess, Knox, Martin, Gibson, Pike, Dubois, Crawford, Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick, Spencer and Perry. The 110 members of District 10 took 64 vehicles and 31 trailers to provide emergency medical services, law enforcement, fire suppression, water rescue, all-hazard management, and service and support.
“These exercises are an important fundamental way Indiana practices disaster response plans and procedures,” said IDHS Executive Director Joe Wainscott in a press release. “The ability to build relationships across jurisdictions now will help with collaboration during a real-life event.”
The simulations allow participants to be evaluated in various aspects of emergency disaster response, such as rescuing people from flooded homes and attending survivors in need of medical attention, without placing any lives at risk.
Washington Fire Chief David Rhoads served as safety officer for the entire operation. He had responsibility for a safe working environment during the 72-hour period.
Also from the Washington Fire Department, firefighter Jeremy Newberry attended as a member of the fire suppression team. He responded to a hospital fire, single structure fire, jail fire, propane tank fire, several trailers on fire, and a tornado.
Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit, Chief Deputy Gary Allison, Lt. Detective Bill Dougherty and Major Jeff Riker participated from the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office. The department’s water rescue connector boat was used by the water hazard team, which included Dougherty and Riker. They rescued many people from a flooded residential neighborhood and responded to a downed helicopter with multiple victims in the water.
Daviess County Emergency Management Agency Director Paul Goss was the liaison officer for the entire operation, managing interagency cooperation throughout the four-day exercise. Todd Riker, DCEMA information technology director, provided IT support. Using emergency generated power he established and maintained full electronic communications for the entire operation. DCEMA Deputy Director Scott Myers served as public information officer and photographed the operation.
“Due to the excellent individual effort of Daviess County personnel and the District 10 team members we were highly rated,” Goss said. “We were told by the chief evaluator that ‘we hit the ball out of the park.’”
The realistic disaster setting gave approximately 700 emergency responders hands-on experience and training. IDHS Response Task Forces from Districts 7, 8 and 9; hazardous material, search and rescue, and support elements from District 4; emergency medical services and crisis mental health elements from District 6; and a water rescue team from District 7 also participated.
IDHS district task force members are professional emergency responders who volunteer their free time to support other emergency response teams throughout the state when requested.
“The task forces can quickly mobilize and begin assisting local efforts, coordinating resources to better serve Hoosiers in a disaster,” Wainscott said.
If the scope of a disaster requires multi-state assistance, interstate mutual aid agreements allow other states to quickly assist each other across state lines, as well. Out-of-state participants in “Without Warning” included the San Diego All Hazard Incident Management Team, Illinois All Hazard Incident Team, and Kentucky Water Rescue Team.
- Local News
8:49 p.m. - A complainant on station turned in a pouch that contained an electronic tablet. The pouch was found at Eastside Park.
WC to graduate on Friday
Washington Catholic High School will hold its commencement exercises at 8 p.m. Friday in the gymnasium. Following the procession and invocation, Karie Craney, principal, will make introductory remarks. The salutatory addresses by Hannah Emmons and Steven Holland will follow a musical selection by the WC Ensemble. The valedictory address will then be given by Andrea Onyett. Daryl Hagan, superintendent of Catholic Schools Diocese of Evansville, and Andrew Wibbeler, dean of students, will present graduate scholarships. Bishop Charles C. Thompson, Diocese of Evansville, Daryl Hagan and Karie Craney will then present the diplomas.
D2DInc moves to WestGate @ Crane
Design To Delivery, Inc., a consulting firm supporting private companies and government agencies engaged in federal procurement and government contracting, officially opened its first office outside of its Washington, D.C. region in the WestGate @ Crane Technology Park on Tuesday.
High winds hit area; cause damage
Daviess County and the city of Washington were hit hard by storms that passed through the area Tuesday morning.
High winds accompanying the storms ripped through the area damaging buildings, uprooting trees and sending a 20-foot piece of wood through a car parked on the lot of Washington Chrysler Center.
WHS wins SeaPerch title
Washington’s SeaPerch teams took home gold at last Saturday’s national competitions at the IUPUI Natatorium.
The WHS NJROTC STEM team won first overall out of 100 teams competing at the national finals. The NJROTC team took first in the obstacle course and the deep water transfer portions of the competition, and received special recognition in the technical innovation.
Washington man arrested on molestation charge
A Washington man was arrested Friday for one count of child molesting. Jacob Tyler Taylor, 19, 603 E. Main St., Apt. 3, was arrested by city police for a count of Class B felony child molesting.
Lyons gets 65 years
Dressed in a bright green jumpsuit and escorted by members of the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, Corey Mitchell Lyons, 23, entered the court room, and sat hunched over a table with his family sitting behind. On the other side of the room sat family members of a baby who's was life was taken too soon and the mother of Lyons’ child Savanna Johnson.
ND graduating Friday
North Daviess High School will hold its commencement exercises at 7 p.m. Friday in the high school gymnasium.
8:36 a.m. - An employee of Fast Max, 1200 E. Nat’l Hwy., reported a drive-off worth $16.09. The driver was identified via video and after contact, went back and paid for the gas. A debit card malfunction was blamed.
1968 WHS reunion planned
Washington High School Class of 1968 is planning a casual reunion to be held at 7 p.m. June 22 at Mulligan’s. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be provided.
- More Local News Headlines
- Police Report