During the week of July 9, more than 60 emergency response personnel and community members from the City of St. Charles, Ill., joined together for a four-day exercise-based training course at the Emergency Management Institute, Emmitsburg, Md. The course was designed to enhance their emergency management capabilities and skills and address threats faced by the city – specifically, a tornado during the annual Pride of the Fox RiverFest.
RiverFest, an annual event held in downtown St. Charles, attracts thousands of visitors from surrounding communities. The event includes a main stage which is host to well-known Chicago land musicians and performers. It is crucial for response personnel to ensure the safety of not only the citizens of the City of St. Charles, but also those visiting for this annual event. This exercise helped response personnel work through many of the issues they would face in a real emergency situation.
Nearly all St. Charles agencies were represented at the training session. Various policy makers, including the city administrator, worked through high-level issues while operations-based response personnel worked in a simulated emergency operations center environment, tackling issues such as resource management.
“For many of us, this is a once-in-a-career-opportunity,” City Administrator Brian Townsend explained to the class.