Like many communities around the nation have been doing since September 11, emergency responders from around Valdosta held a realistic training exercise Tuesday. Crews from around the metro Valdosta area worked hand-in-hand on Tuesday dealing with a simulated large scale attack on an airplane and at the airport terminal.
Ken Carter, a training officer for Lowndes County Fire and Rescue, said, "We can spend all the time we want in the classroom talking about it, practicing it, but until we actually get out into the field and get our hands on what we are doing, that's the best you can get. It’s as real as it comes."
Many of the emergency response crews are nationally accredited, and this is the kind of training they must complete to keep their accreditation as a top level response crew.
LT Brian Childress of the Valdosta Police Department said, "But even more importantly than that, what we want to do is grade ourselves, we want to say, okay, if something occurred in our area that required a multi-agency response, how do we react?"
These crews reacted by communicating and working together as much as possible.
"As with any exercise, there is always something you can do differently, and of course that's the issues that we'll address, but overall I'd say it went really, really well," adds Ken Carter.
Despite a successful training day, emergency response crew leaders say this isn't the last of these major exercises.
"The more of these exercises that we do, and the practice we do, the smoother your actual real life exercise will go."
Leaders say they were very pleased with how well Lowndes County's new digital radio system did during its first big test in a major emergency situation.