Full-Scale Tornado Simulation Training - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Full-Scale Tornado Simulation Training

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ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL – First responders from around the region were at the Rock Island Arsenal today for a tornado response training.

Crews from all over the Quad Cities and as far as Peoria were here for the drill. They say it’s crucial for multiple agencies to practice as a team because natural disasters do hit close to home, like the tornados in Washington, Illinois last November.

Battalion Chief Todd Allen from the Moline Fire Department says this training is how they prepare for real life situations. “Whenever you do these types of exercises, you see what we need to improve and where our skill bases are.”

Allen says, “One department can’t do this on its own. It gets difficult, labor intensive. It’s very man-power intensive.”

Normally, crews work efficiently with their own agencies, but when it comes to a large-scale tragedy, communication is the biggest struggle.

Joe Cluchey, Operations Section Chief from MABAS Illinois, says “If you would look at any post-incident analysis, any report from a major disaster, it would say one of the factors and some things that went wrong – I’m going to be willing to be you’ll see ‘communication’ listed among the top three in almost all of them.”

Communication is what makes today’s training so crucial. That and practicing with the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System, also known as MABAS. It gives emergency crews a standardized language.

Cluchey says, “If all of a sudden they need very unique resources that they don’t have locally, they can call MABAS and we will help with the coordination of getting the resources that they need and help create a standardized language and terminology.

Multiple agencies work as one team, and train so first response becomes second nature.

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