The Emergency Transportation Operations (ETO) program has wrapped up its fall 2014 series of tabletop exercises. These training sessions are conducted statewide on a biannual basis with the objective of enhancing communication and situational assessment across jurisdictions during large scale incidents. Through achievement of this objective, the ETO program aims to enhance operational coordination and execution of public information and warning systems.
The latest round of exercises replicated the December 8, 2013 snow/ice storm that caused 8 separate crashes and resulted in three fatalities and 108 injuries. Hundreds of vehicles were involved, including 306 passenger cars, 22 tractor trailers, and three straight trucks/buses.
Six three and a half hour training sessions were conducted throughout Wisconsin between October 29th and November 20th, 2014. They were well-attended, with a 27% increase in attendees compared to the spring 2014 ETO exercises. A total of 295 individuals, representing WisDOT, State Patrol, county and local law enforcement, fire and EMS, emergency management from the state, county and local levels, as well as DNR wardens, National Guard officers, public safety telecommunications, the private towing/recovery industry and the National Weather Service (NWS) were in attendance.
An NWS meteorologist aided the exercise by conducting live mini-webinars to complement the training scenario. After the sessions were completed, DTSD and DSP representatives addressed the session objectives and reported that their regions are prepared for the upcoming 2014/2015 winter season.
Planning for the 2015 Spring ETO Exercises is underway and dates for those training sessions will be announced in the new year.
WisDOT’s TIME Program partners are critical to the success of these tabletop exercises and invitations will be sent out to the members when the new sessions are announced. If you would like more information on this training, please contact ETO Program Manager Dennis Drazkowski at firstname.lastname@example.org