After six months of planning, the Monroe County Emergency Planning Committee staged a county-wide disaster drill in Bloomington today.
The annual full scale exercise was planned to involve as many emergency services and responders as possible to test and develop procedures for the real thing.
“This one we felt really needed attention because of the large population we have here on the college campus,” says Captain Jerry Minger of the IU Police Department. “It’s the sixth largest resident population in the U.S. for a college campus. So we have a large concentrated population to deal with.”
Dennis Williamson is representing the Monroe County Department of Health on the Emergency Planning Committee.
“The situation we have today is someone has stolen some herbicide used to kill weeks and they’ve gone into Assembly Hall and sprayed kids in there that are practicing basketball, then they took a hostage and ran over to the field house,” said Williamson.
Minger says the practice will test new communication systems recently put in place.
“One of the things we really wanted to test today is the new Indiana Public Safety Commission radio system 500 mega-hertz. It’s only been here recently that now all emergency services have radios in place where we go to one channel and we can actually talk together, that never before has happened in this county.”