Local Emergency Responders Train for Large Scale Operation

By: Brendan Ponton Email
By: Brendan Ponton Email

HARRISONBURG -- Emergency crews, along with agencies from the city and Rockingham County, practiced handling a large scale emergency on Tuesday morning.

The timing was coincidental after Monday's tornadoes out west. The goal is to make sure the county and city are able to coordinate a response and to develop an emergency plan. One is developed every four years.

In the scenario, an earthquake struck near Charlottesville and caused damage to Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. In it, Harrisonburg High School was destroyed. The school is usually the primary shelter, so crews had to work to find a new one for people.

Officials from several different agencies were there, including fire, police, electricity, and the Red Cross, among others.

Harrisonburg Fire Chief Larry Shifflett said it's important to always be ready.

"Hopefully we'll never have to put this plan into operation, but if we do, we have the experience of sitting in this room and working with our own people, as well as working with the county's people and sharing resources back and forth," he said.

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