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(Posted on Thursday, March 26) Forty-eight representatives of 23 city departments and partner agencies and organizations met Thursday at the city’s fire headquarters/station No. 1 on Lynn Street for a simulated emergency response exercise.
The exercise scenario required the representatives to detail how they would coordinate a response and share available resources during a winter storm bringing more than 10 inches of snowfall to Danville.
“When a local government can bring together every stakeholder for training, it not only better prepares each stakeholder, but benefits citizens, who depend upon them during emergency situations,” said James E. Davis, emergency management coordinator for Pittsylvania County.
Davis attended the exercise as an evaluator. He said the exercise was successful by all measures.
“This exercise demonstrated the capacity of the city and its partners to handle an emergency,” Davis said. “They are prepared and ready. I commend their efforts.”
The exercise was facilitated by Mike Guzo, regional coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. He noted the difficulty in bringing together a large number of municipal departments and partner agencies and organizations.
“The inclusion of so many departments and community agencies and organizations was above what I normally see,” Guzo said. “Rarely do we see stakeholders such as colleges, the hospital and the health department. When this many come together as we had today, we better learn our strengths and areas of improvement.”
City departments participating included fire, police, public works, utilities, transportation, information technology, city manager’s office, community development, finance, human resources, economic development and parks and recreation.
Also participating were representatives from Henry County, Pittsylvania County, the Danville Sheriff’s Department, Danville Life Saving Crew, Virginia Department of Health, Averett University, Danville Community College, Danville Public Schools, American Red Cross, Department of Social Services and the Virginia Army National Guard.