City departments participate in emergency training

Departments participate in training exercise_141002

TOPEKA (KSNT) –  Practice makes perfect, especially in life or death situations.

“We’ll know more at the end of they day how we can better prepare,” said Dusty Nichols, Interim Director of the Shawnee County Emergency Management.

Various city departments came together to do training exercises to practice real world crises.

One of those including a possible contamination of the Kansas River.

“We’re immediately upstream from the intakes of the Kansas water treatment plant,” said Errin Mahan, Emergency Coordinator of the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department. “If the Kansas river were to be contaminated, we could possibly have a contamination problem with the supply of water in the city of Topeka.”

For everyday residents, a contaminated water supply could affect our daily use of water, such as washing or drinking, but it could have a larger effect when it comes to saving lives.

That would be the case for the Topeka Fire Department, who uses the water supply to put out fires, and therefore would need aid from firetrucks from rural stations.

“They’re used to running a hydrant all the time where they have a good flow of water,” said Karl McNorton, Fire Chief of the Soldier Township Fire Department. “This is a bit of a new scenario for them to be challenged this way.”

That’s why they have this practive, because in the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“Once we know the possible shortfalls or holes we have after this exercise, the groups that are playing this exercise can stop those from happening,” Nichols said.

The exercises were made possible through grant money and planning by emergency responders.

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