June 10, 2021
The Development Authority of the North Country hosted the South Jefferson Rescue Squad and other local emergency response volunteers at its regional landfill in Rodman on June 10 for an emergency drill. The drill provided the opportunity for the both the emergency responders and Development Authority staff to test their response to a scenario involving a confined space rescue, an explosion and injuries.
The drill tested the proficiency of communication and coordination in the event that multiple people are injured in accidents onsite. An important aspect of the drill is for the emergency responders to manage multiple tasks under a “unified command” umbrella.
“We conduct these types of exercises to better prepare the emergency responders in the event of a real incident,” said Robert VanCoughnett, South Jefferson Rescue Chief. “It gives the volunteers the opportunity to test their flexibility and skills when responding to an emergency and allows them the opportunity to practice on a real site, like the landfill.”
The South Jeff Rescue Squad sponsored the event and other organizations that participated on the landfill site included the Rodman Fire Department, Adams Center Fire Department, and Town of Watertown Ambulance, as well as Development Authority staff.
“It’s important to hold drills like this so that Authority staff are prepared and understand both their roles and how to work with emergency responders in the event that an incident does occur,” said Carl E. Farone, Jr., Executive Director of the Development Authority. “We were pleased to have the opportunity to participate in this event with Jefferson County emergency responders and we thank them for their dedication.”
Much of the event’s coordination was done by South Jeff Rescue members and recent EMT students Peyton Cloke and Matt Yusen, as they successfully completed their EMT course and internship with South Jefferson Rescue and will now transition from the military to emergency services careers.
The drill scenario included workers being rescued from a confined space, and a methane gas explosion with injuries. It gave the emergency personnel the opportunity to practice confined space rescue and heavy rescue techniques. The drill proceeded safely and there were no actual injuries.