Cornelius Fire Captain Steve Black, Forest Grove/Cornelius Fire Chief Michael Kinkade and Forest Grove Police Chief Janie Schutz manage a simulated large-scale terrorist threat — in this case, a release of hazardous materials — during a region-wide training exercise Wednesday, May 22. The drill helped recently promoted police and fire personnel to shift from the in-the-field, hands-on work they’d been doing as first responders to a big-picture management role, said Dave Nemeyer, public information officer for Forest Grove Fire & Rescue. It also helped response teams from the police and fire departments practice working effectively together. Finally, the exercise allowed Cornelius and Forest Grove personnel to practice communicating with Washington County’s Emergency Operations Center. In particular, they practiced using a web-based system that allows individual agencies across the county to see what’s going on with all the others — shortness of supplies, trends in demands — and to order resources ranging from food and toiletries for their emergency-operations center (EOC) to state police officers ready to help fill staffing shortages. It was the first time Kinkade and Schutz had worked together in the EOC, Nemeyer said.

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