PCI host first ever disaster response exercise on Tribal lands

Published 8:44 pm Friday, March 27, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians, in conjunction with the Alabama National Guard and Alabama Department of Homeland Security, led a homeland security exercise on the Poarch Creek Reservation on March 26. The exercise, known as “Dragon Slayer,” is a disaster response exercise meant to evaluate first responder efforts.
This simulated exercise was the first ever conducted on a federally recognized American Indian Reservation. No other tribe has tested their disaster efforts with this type scenario. Exercise officials will use this event as a model for other reservations in the nation.
The scenario centered on a crop duster dropping unknown chemicals onto the Pow Wow grounds at the annual Poarch Creek Indian Thanksgiving Pow Wow, which includes approximately 20,000 people.
The Poarch Creek Fire and Police Departments, Health Department, local hospitals and ambulance services will join with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Indian Health Service, Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama Emergency Management Agency and other state agencies participated in the exercise.
Today the groups will meet for an after-action review to determine areas where the responders may need additional training.
For the complete story, see the Sunday edition of The Atmore Advance.

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