Emergency workers use drill to prepare for massive injuries in severe weather

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Multiple counties within two West Virginia Healthcare Coalition regions will participate in an emergency drill all day Thursday. The drill is mostly a classroom exercise so as to not impact resources and staff with non-emergency calls.

The scenario will likely play out over scanners to sound like an extreme weather emergency.

Director of the Monongalia Homeland Security and Management Agency Jim Smith gave some specifics on WAJR’s Morgantown AM.

“It’s going to involve 18 counties in region two and region four, the scenario is a large snowstorm hits our area, then unseasonably warm temperatures occur and large rainfalls occur.”

Monongalia, Preston, Marion and Barbour counties will be among the 18 counties participating in the drills and Smith stated that communication is the main purpose for them coming together.

“(We) exercise the communication between emergency management agencies our health department and our hospitals in making sure all the casualties are transported and all their needs are taken care of.”

Smith mentioned that the eighteen counties participating are a part of two West Virginia Healthcare Coalition regions. The drills normally only take in one region and Smith explained why another one was pulled into the loop.
“Adding a second region is going to make sure all the communication lines are open and available.”

Smith also stated this is a fairly normal routine to emphasize the communication message.
“On the large scale where we’re adding two regions, it happens at least once a year.”

The drills are expected to go on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.