11/5/2012 1:05:00 PM 'Tabletop' drill prepares Prescott Valley officials for disasters
Les Stukenberg/Courtesy of The Daily Courier Members of the Prescott Valley Town Council participate in a emergency operations drill via a teleconference in the training room of the Prescott Valley Civic Center Wednesday morning.
Ken Hedler Special to the Tribune
PRESCOTT VALLEY - While the East Coast is recovering from the devastating Sandy superstorm, the Town Council and department heads gathered Wednesday with Yavapai County's emergency management coordinator to plan for potential disasters.
However, the timing of the "tabletop" emergency drill with Sandy were a coincidence, said Denny Foulk, the emergency management coordinator.
"We have been planning for this (drill) for five months," Foulk said after he and 13 others took a lunch break in a training room on the fourth floor of the Civic Center. He presided over a room in which seven Town Council members, the town manager, police chief and other department heads gathered.
A video-conferencing system linked them with police officers and representatives from other departments in the emergency operations center in the police station.
The left screen on the wall of the training room showed people at the police station while the screen on the right displayed Foulk and the others who met in the training room. The drill lasted from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The participants responded to a hypothetical contamination of the town's water supply by a terrorist group.
"What are the contingency plans you have in place?" Town Clerk Diane Russell asked her counterparts at the police station.
The scenario of the emergency or disaster is irrelevant, Foulk said afterward. He added the drill helped town officials to validate their plans, policies and procedures.
"We constantly train (for emergencies)," Foulk said. He said Prescott Valley benefits from the training by improving relations with county officials.
"An exercise is not successful if you do not have areas to improve," he said. Areas to improve include outreach to nongovernmental entities, such as businesses and charities.
During the break, Foulk, who wore a gray suit, walked over to the police station, where 17 people assembled.
"We are educating," Sgt. Scott Stebbins said. "We are training our emergency response. We are trying to get the town to work together as a team to address potential disasters."