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Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - February 24, 2008 - February 28, 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Disaster drill simulates derailment
Houston County Courier - February 2008
By Daphne Hereford, Managing Editor

An organized disaster drill held in Grapeland on Monday, Feb. 18 simulated an explosion, train derailment and chemical release in the downtown area.
The drill, which began about 7 p.m., simulated the disaster to allow emergency personnel the opportunity to implement training procedures and plans already in place for such events.
Several fire departments as well as state and federal agencies participated in the drill organized by Houston County Office of Emergency Management.
The scenario for the mock disaster provided that an explosion caused a train derailment in downtown Grapeland, which resulted in the release LPG gas and a subsequent fire.
"The drill went really well and I am pleased with the overall execution by emergency personnel," said Houston County Emergency Coordinator David Lamb.
"These mock drills are very useful training tools in our efforts to provide the public the very best in emergency services," Lamb added.
As soon as the mock call came in that the disaster had occurred, the Mobile Command Communications Bus responded to the scene.
Once there, the bus sets up communications and the incident commander organizes the response. The incident commander is traditionally the local emergency services leader.
Emergency personnel from Grapeland Volunteer Fire Department, Crockett Fire Department, Latexo Volunteer Fire Department, Elkhart Fire Department, Huntsville Fire Department, Palestine Fire Department, Houston County Sheriff's Office, and DETCOG all actively participated in the mock drill.
Agencies participating through simulation in the mock drill included ATF, FBI, TECQ, Texas Department of Public Safety and ETMC EMS.

"The drill went really well,"
said David Lamb


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