Mountain Ranch, CA — If you spot a helicopter flying over Mountain Ranch and a lot of emergency crews heading to that area today, don’t be alarmed. It is just a drill. Emergency crews are making sure if disaster strikes Calaveras County, they will be ready.
Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Rachelle Whiting says, “We’ve trained throughout the year and this just allows us to put that into practice. It’s designed to test the multi-agency response so that when disasters do happen everything goes smoothly when we need it to the most.”
The crews will be facing a winter storm causing long term power outages throughout the area. There will also be a multi-car pile-up with many victims needing help. An emergency center will be set up to deal with the victims. The drill will involve over 100 people, not only emergency crews, but PG & E, the Red Cross and private citizens.
Whiting says, “This is really a whole community approach to handling a disaster. When disasters hit people want to know how they can help. We have these Community Emergency Response Team Academies. Citizens can go there to get a little bit of extra training, so they will know what to do in between the time a disaster strikes and emergency crews arrive on the scene.”
Motorists may want to avoid the area as there could be delays. Cave City Road will be down to one-lane traffic intermittently throughout the training exercise that will run from 8a.m. to 2p.m. For more information on the Community Emergency Response Team Academies call the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services.
The agencies involved in today’s drill include the Central Calaveras Fire-Rescue Protection District, Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, Volunteers, and Reserves; Cal Fire, California Highway Patrol, Pacific Gas & Electric, PHI Inc. helicopter company, West Point Fire Protection District, the American Red Cross, Calaveras Works and Human Services, American Legion Ambulance, Ebbetts Pass Fire Protection District, Calaveras Amateur Radio Society, San Andreas Fire Protection District, and the Calaveras Community Emergency Response Team volunteers.