Hale County prepares for massive one-of-a-kind tornado exercise

Storm response training in Hale County next month
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 3:59 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2022 at 7:26 PM CDT
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HALE COUNTY, Ala, (WBRC) - Emergency Management Agency Officials in Hale County are putting the final touches on an exercise to simulate a major tornado and disaster in Hale County.

People who live in Hale County know what the real thing is like, after a deadly storm passed through earlier this year.

Lions Park is in Greensboro and on September 8, the park will be turned into a disaster scene. Local high schoolers will portray ‘victims’. There will be dummies in trees, fallen power poles, all part of creating the scene of a real life tornado aftermath.

The tornado exercise is the brainchild of Hale County EMA director Russ Weeden.

“It’s gonna look like a real tornado come through here. We’re going all out,” said Weeden.

More than 38 different first responder agencies will take part, including as the Greensboro Volunteer Fire Department, and that’s not all.

“We’re going to bring a lot of tin and metal out here to simulate mobile homes and we’ll also being a couple of dump trucks to bring broken pine trees,” Weeden said.

“I think it’s a good idea,” he said.

Greensboro Volunteer Assistant Fire Chief Doug Roberts never turns down a chance to train, especially after the fire department got its new hook and ladder truck recently, driven all the way from the state of New York. Improving communications with each other will be the primary objective of this event.

“We all need exercise, we all learn every time we go out, everybody needs to be trained on what to do and how to do it,” said Roberts.

Hale County has seen its share of tornadoes this year and that’s what propelled Weeden to get moving. It won’t just be first responders treating victims. The exercise will include some academics as well.

“We’re actually going to teach about 12 different classes on triage and car extrication,” said Weeden.

“We got a lot of young guys that need that participation,” said Roberts.

Making it feel and look real is the goal for Russ Weeden and it all happens on September 8.

When you factor in all the students, first responder personnel from the region, there will be about 400 people who will take part in the exercise.


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