Monday, October 15, 2007

Spend ANOTHER exciting night with the US army!

Hi folks!
I got a call from Lt. JB Branson of the US Army's 911th engineer company today. If you all may remember, he is the platoon leader that requested our help as victims for their last disaster drill exercise at Fort Belvoir a few weeks back.That exercise was a lot of fun to the CERT victim volunteers that participated.
Well, Lt. Branson has asked if we'd like to come out and play victim for them again, their next disaster drill takes place from October 22nd at 10 am until "mid afternoon" on October 24th. This is a disaster drill that involves assets from DC fire department, Arlington County Fire Department, the US army's 911th engineer company, the US Marines "seaburst" decontamination battalion, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Military District of Washington and "others".
The emphasis on this exercise is hazmat operations. DECONTAMINATION ACTIVITIES WILL BE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THIS EXERCISE....So, if you plan on attending they're warning us beforehand this time that we may be asked to get wet. Wear clothes that can get torn/dirtied/moulaged/potentially decontaminated and I'd bring an extra set of dry clothes to change into as well. Oh, cameras are OK this time!
Needless to say, this exercise is going to be MUCH larger than the previous disaster drill. That's why this one is being held at Lorton Prison this time. Our part of the exercise will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd from 6:30 pm until 10:00 pm. We'll meet at the Lorton Prison site (near the landfill) and will sign in, sign waiver forms and participate in the exercise. I'll send out an informational email and a map to Lorton Prison as the time gets closer to the event.
Here's a neat tidbit for you folks; based on the "strength" of our victim "performances" last time; Lt. Branson asked me to tell anyone who wants to participate in ANY part of this 2 day drill in addition to our part on Oct. 23rd, on ANY of the days of their exercise, come on out. Let the guard at the gate know your'e with Fairfax County CERT and are there to be a victim; you'll be escorted onto the site and used as a victim for as long as you'd like to be there. Apparently we've made a good impression on these folks!
Folks, this event does not count as a CERT refresher, but exercises like this give CERT members a really unique insight into first responder disaster response and mitigation activities at a level you don't normally get to see. Besides, its FUN to participate in these exercises!
Interested in participating? Let me know; please email me at the new CERT volunteer PIO address which is:
Volunteer PIO
PS: For those that participated in the last 911th disaster exercise-I'll be picking up certificates of appreciation from Lt. Branson next week. Also, he's made each of the participants a photo CD of the entire exercise for us! The pictures were classified as "unclassified" so he could share them with us. WOW !

Needless to

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