The sun was threatening a hot and humid day, but it had not yet arisen as we moved the World Disaster Report response unit (affectionately known as "Big Bird" - and yes we have a "little bird" too) into position and prepared to deploy the radio 48 ft., custom built antenna mast.
We had the great privilege of providing equipment and staff to assist in an important training exercise. Our co-founder, Andrew Jones, deployed with his county ARES group in communications support of the WIPPTREX 2012 held in Northeast Georgia. Although we are not at liberty to discuss all details of the exercise, we can reveal that it involved a simulated transportation accident, hazardous waste, a school bus, and other vehicles. This training was designed to help area hospitals, emergency response agencies, and volunteers work more efficiently together, and provide an opportunity to exercise equipment and operational plans.
We are pleased to now share several photos.
Our staff safety vests drew many questions
Rockdale County Sheriff Mobile Command Post
We also send our personal thanks and regards to the fire/rescue crew from Newton County Georgia Fire who gave us an impromptu lift to the food distribution area (saving us from a long hot walk), as well as our congratulations to the Salvation Army cooking and serving staff who so kindly gave of their time and talents to produce such a great post-exercise meal. That was the best pork steak ever in our opinion.
Here's a partial list of participants:
Walton, Clark, Banks/Jackson County ARES
(below) Georgia State Defense Force 3rd Bn, 1st Bde communications unit
Inside the Rockdale County Sheriff's mobile command post situation room
Rockdale, Walton, Morgan, Newton Sheriff Departments
Georgia Highway Patrol,
Walton County EMA,
Newton County response unit, and (below) World Disaster Report response unit antenna set up preparations.
We operated 2 meter and HF radios as part of the emergency response network. Area hospitals (Athens regional, St. Mary's, Newton Medical Center) also stood up their emergency communications to test information handling capabilities. There were many lessons learned, and participants seemed to agree that the exercise was a great success over all.