By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
BLUE SPRINGS – Saturday Union County County Sheriff Tommy Wilhite and Tupelo Police Chief Tony Carleton co-commanded an Emergency Response Drill for agencies in the Tri-County area consisting of Lee, Union and Pontotoc County.
The drills were conducted at the Toyota Plant in Blue Springs. Even though Toyota had nothing to do with the drills or the scenarios that were conducted as a part of the drills, Carleton said being able to train in a facility of that size allowed for a wide-range of training options.
“We live in a time where we have to be prepared for any situation,” said Carleton. “We have to make sure we know who does what, who has what equipment and who goes where if the unthinkable ever does happen in our area. Bringing all these agencies together helps to do all of that. It helps us to familiarize ourselves with one another in the area and to find out what we all do well and what we can bring to the table.”
More than 100 officers, deputies, firemen and emergency personnel were on hand for the nearly four hour training session. Lee County Deputy Sheriff John Hall, along with member of the Lee County S.W.A.T. team participated in the drill. Even though Saturday’s emergency situations were not real, Hall said going through them in practice was just as important as the real deal.
“If we do one of these scenarios today and nothing goes wrong then we have a problem,” said Hall. “There is no such thing as perfect when dealing with these types of situations. So we want to make mistakes out here because if we wait until a real situation to happen before we start making mistakes then lives can be lost.”
Read more in Monday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.