MOUNT VERNON – Knox County officials got an idea of how well local emergency workers in the county will respond to a natural disaster with a hazardous materials emergency, when theystaged the annual disaster exercise Tuesday.

Knox County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and Knox County Emergency Management sponsored the exercise, which involved police and fire departments, emergency medical teams, and Knox Community Hospital, as well as Central Ohio Farmer Co-Op’s own industrial emergency team, reacting to a simulated release of hazardous materials.

The LEPC intentionally simulated a much larger incident than possible to ensure that all facets of the County’s plan could be practiced and evaluated. The Central Ohio Farmer Co-Op volunteered for the hazardous materials site so they could also evaluate their response if an emergency were to occur at their facility. Door hangers were placed on houses surrounding the Central Ohio Farmer Co-Op to alert residents that there may be increased local First Responder Traffic, as well as simulated smoke in and around the COFC.

County EMA Director Mark Maxwell said “I think the drill went very well. I think we all learned a great deal and identified areas where we can continue to improve.”

Aerial video shot by Ed Sims of the exercise was posted to Facebook.  See the video at this link:

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