Boston, MA -- On Wednesday, June 21, 2000, Cranston, Rhode Island will be the scene of a mock exercise to test the emergency management plans of Cranston, Warwick and North Kingstown, Rhode Island for a hazardous materials incident. Participants will include Federal, State and Local officials, Emergency Medical Services, American Red Cross, State Police, Public Works, Hospitals, Fire, Police Departments and area Industry.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) staff from the Region I office in Boston assisted state officials and Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) VIII members assess emergency response plans, capabilities and procedures during a four-month assessment process. The Comprehensive Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Capability Assessment Program (CHER-CAP) is locally driven with federal assistance. LEPC VIII is the first to host a CHER-CAP program outside of FEMA Region VI (Southwest US).
"This is the first evaluation of this type in Rhode Island. The participation of State and local officials shows their commitment in developing and testing practical and efficient hazardous materials emergency response procedures," said Mr. Albert Scappittici, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.
Cranston Mayor John R. O'Leary will host the exercise in the City of Cranston at the Howard Complex, and together with LEPC Chair, Cranston Fire Chief Robert Warren, welcome this partnership between the local, federal, and state agencies and area industry. Chief Warren stated that he is pleased for the opportunity to update the area's emergency response plan, further develop its capabilities, and, through this exercise, identify strategic goals to better protect the public.
Federal, state and local officials will coordinate the evaluation of the local emergency plan for responding to this hazardous materials incident involving mass casualties. The Comprehensive HAZMAT Emergency Response Capability Assessment Program (CHER-CAP) uses an assessment program developed by FEMA Region VI, according to Setti D. Warren, Regional Director. It also enhances the work of FEMA's
Project Impactinitiative by providing a technological hazards component toward building disaster resistant communities throughout New England. The program's strength lies in developing a local, state, federal and industry team that pools its resources and expertise as equal partners.
This program is in response to a critical need to standardize planning, conducting and evaluating hazardous materials exercises. In addition to testing the Cranston, Warwick and North Kingston emergency plans, the exercise provides realistic training for all emergency management personnel, remarked Setti D. Warren, Regional Director of FEMA Region I in Boston.