June 27, 2007 Edition

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LawCo. C.E.R.T. drill a success


Gary Meeks and Justin Dorsey relay directions from incident command to Lawrence County C.E.R.T. diver Shane Bower, to assist in his search for a "body" during a drill at Lake Charles.
Amber Adams
Staff Writer

A Lawrence County Community Emergency Response Team drill held last Thursday evening at Lake Charles State Park was ruled a success.

Evaluations were done by Marty Cagle of the Randolph County Office of Emergency Management; Alan Haskins, Walnut Ridge Fire Chief; and Frank Owens, head of Walnut Ridge's HazMat unit. They agreed that the teams kept good communication with each other and the safety officer.

C.E.R.T. held a water search and rescue drill at Lake Charles, with officials from the park calling 911 to report two overturned canoes.

The first call went out to the Black Rock Fire Department, as Lake Charles falls in their district. Black Rock Fire Chief Pat Roby Sr. then did an all call for C.E.R.T. members.

As the team arrived, they were signed in at incident command, which was set up at the Nature Center, and divided into search groups. Mike Bristow and Tim Mansfield used the team's two bloodhounds, Molly and Daisy, to try to pick up a scent from the bank. Other team members waded into the water searching the bottom for "bodies."

Within 30-minutes, two of the three had been found. The team's diver Shane Bower, along with other team members, continued to search for the third until dark. The search was continued Friday morning.

The team, which includes members from fire departments throughout the county as well as several reserve deputies, is planning another drill for the fall.

Lawrence County C.E.R.T. members thank the evaluators for taking time to participate in this drill.

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