The Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARC ARES Team conducted a simulated emergency exercise March 12 in conjunction with the Norton Emergency Management Agency. Norton EMA and Norton’s CERT Team decided to continue with the planned exercise despite the cancellation of the Eastern MA ARES simulated emergency test that day.
In response to the simulated late winter ice storm, stations were set up at various locations, including a “base of operations” at the Norton Fire Department, multiple simulated shelters and two mobile SSTV-equipped disaster assessment teams. K1VQ and W1TW operated WC1NOR at the Norton Emergency Operations Center. K2TGX acted as overall Incident Commander of the drill; N1FLO served as ARES Team Incident Commander. North Attleboro’s Fire Chief Peter Lamb, N1NVE, was on the air with SSTV video and APRS text messages from North Attleboro’s EOC. KB1DRL activated W1SMH at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro. He acted as a liaison to the hospital’s Emergency Department. N1IV and KA1IG operated the Plainville and North Attleboro EOC/RACES stations, respectively.
N1UMJ checked in from Taunton and handled simulated traffic to Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s Region 2 Headquarters. KA1EWN operated as Disaster Assessment Mobile 1 and N1SEC operated as Disaster Assessment Mobile 2. Both sent SSTV pictures back to Norton’s EOC. N1MPT set up a mock shelter at Norton Middle School and handled head count traffic as well as mutual aid requests for shelter support.
The exercise, which lasted for approximately 80 minutes, was cut short when the National Weather Service issued a genuine winter storm warning.
The exercise served as excellent practice for all involved.