Responders prepare for downtown emergency

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Participants of a tabletop exercise listen as Fort Scott Police Chief Travis Shelton, left, comments on police involvement in an event of a large fire in downtown Fort Scott.
Jason E. Silvers

Several emergency responders, city and county officials and representatives of other groups assembled Tuesday to discuss a plan for an event similar to a devastating March 2005 fire in downtown Fort Scott.

Bourbon County Emergency Manager William Wallis wrote and coordinated the mock tabletop exercise, which took place inside the Emergency Operations Center at the Bourbon County Courthouse.

Participants included representatives of the city and county, Mercy EMS, Fort Scott fire and police departments, rural fire departments, the county dispatch center, Bourbon County Public Health, the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office, the Bourbon County Emergency Management office, and the Community Emergency Response Team.

During the exercise, participants discussed a mock scenario involving a downtown fire in the 100 block of South Main Street in October. The group talked as various modules were presented focusing on different aspects of the scenario, then broke off into separate groups to answer questions that were discussed in forming a plan.

Topics in the discussion include the use of water to combat the fire, roadblocks set up at the scene, and potential weather conditions such as wind direction and speed. Backup resources and chain of command were other topics.

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