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Mayor Briley Implements Multi-Agency Emergency Preparedness Drill

Judith Byrd 615-862-6461; cellphone: 615-761-6694

Staff from 29 agencies participate in simulated exercise

To ensure the city's readiness in the event of a large-scale disaster, more than 80 personnel from multiple agencies today took part in a four-hour simulated training exercise at the Nashville Emergency Operations Center. The drill, which also included representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Weather Service, Hands On Nashville and the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, was designed to train personnel as well as test and tax the city's emergency response processes.

"A quick and clear response is critical when dealing with an emergency, and this drill put our personnel through a set of extraordinary challenges. We hope a city-wide emergency doesn't occur, but should disaster strike Davidson County, we are prepared," said Mayor David Briley.

The simulated exercise, which was funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), was hosted through a coordinated effort between the Mayor's Office, the Nashville Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and USACE. Input and planning for the exercise were also provided by Metro Water Services, Metro Planning, the Emergency Communications Center and the National Weather Service.

The simulation included a rapid series of weather events with catastrophic impact on various buildings, roads and services across the county.

"Our Metro employees and partners did an excellent job in this drill. No matter how much training we provide our staff and partners, there is nothing short of real-time events that can match a multi-agency, real-time exercise," said Heidi Mariscal with the OEM.

The Nashville-Davidson County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is the city's central coordinating, monitoring, notification and warning point for major emergencies and disasters. It is the primary multi-agency coordination center during a major incident. The EOC coordinates with the Incident Command out in the field and other outside sources and resources. The EOC activates on average six times a year, with full activations seldom happening.

"We have a strong partnership with our fellow Metro Nashville departments and community partners," Nashville Fire Department and OEM Director Chief William Swann said. "We value these exercises so much because they allow us to put our procedures to the test outside of an actual incident requiring a massive response."