How would officials in Garfield County respond in case of an emergency? That is a question Enid and county officials have asked themselves, and earlier this week they put themselves to the test to find the answer.

A massive three-day disaster exercise tested emergency personnel in a variety of scenarios, from radiation poisoning of Enid's water supply to hostage situations to a terrorist attack at Vance Air Force Base.

There was one purpose for the exercise: To learn. To learn what emergency personnel here do well but more importantly to learn what needs improvement.

One big thing learned, it seems, was the value of many different organizations coming together and working as one -- in short, teamwork.

"We need to get away from having separate entities showing up to a common problem and solving it their own way," said Enid Fire Department Assistant Chief Darrel Bundy, who coordinated the exercise. "It worked better than it has, but we have a little ways to go."

The key now is how the various agencies process what they learned. The exercise showed what worked well and what didn't work well. We have confidence officials involved will take a good look at everything and apply the lessons.

Bundy hopes to schedule another exercise next year. We would like to see it. The more practice people have, the better their responses will be in the event of a real emergency.



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