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Wednesday, May 25, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesMulti-Agency Hazard Exercise Concluded, Being Evaluated

Multi-Agency Hazard Exercise Concluded, Being Evaluated

Operation Tide Breaker, a full-scale multi-hazard and maritime exercise entailing three simulated disaster situations on St. Thomas, with multi-level and multi-jurisdictional emergency response coordination, came to a successful end at 5 p.m. today, according to Government House.

The exercise was designed to test emergency responders’ incident management capabilities using the Incident Command System developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. More than 30 local and federal government agencies and the maritime industry participated.

At 8:30 a.m., the VI Water and Power Authority simulated a bomb threat to the Randolph Harley Plant and evacuated it workers, according to Government House.

WAPA’s evacuation drill was followed by a hazardous material incident scenario onboard Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Eclipse. As part of the scenario, a hazardous material released on the ship caused a number of passengers to become ill. This incident triggered a response from the V.I. Fire Service and the V.I. National Guard’s 23rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team. Schneider Regional Medical Center, the V.I. Department of Health, and the Florida Advanced Surgical and Transport Team also took part.

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The day ended with a simulated situation involving an ersatz active shooter and a possible explosive device at the Lionel Roberts Stadium that required a response from the V.I. Police Department’s Special Response Team, EMS, the VI Fire Service, and the Guard’s weapons of mass destruction unit again.

“This year we took a ‘whole community’ approach to exercising our capabilities, looking, not only at how we interact with our federal partners, but also how we would engage the private sector as well,” VITEMA Director Elton Lewis said in a statement. “We want to thank the Royal Caribbean for participating and allow us to use the Celebrity Eclipse as one of venues.”

Operation Tide Breaker tested emergency response capabilities like information sharing and dissemination, communications, onsite incident management, emergency triage and pre-hospital treatment, medical evacuation, WMD, and hazardous materials and explosives response.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fully-funded the exercise, which was designed to test local and federal emergency responders’ ability to manage a complex, large scale incident. Planners from FEMA’s Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program staff, VITEMA and the National Guard developed the concept and objectives. FEMA was also in the Territory to support and evaluate the exercise.

“Overall the exercise went well, especially when we factor in how large it was, and the number of participants we had,” VITEMA Assistant Director Noel Smith said. Smith served as the Exercise Director. “We will know for sure what areas worked well and what didn’t once the After Action Report is complete,” Smith said.

Over the next few weeks, FEMA’s HSEEP team will compile and assess the information provided by exercise evaluators and hold an After Action Report Conference with all of the participants.

For more information on Operation Tide Breaker visit the Virgin Islands Joint Information Center at www.governordejongh.com/jic.

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Operation Tide Breaker, a full-scale multi-hazard and maritime exercise entailing three simulated disaster situations on St. Thomas, with multi-level and multi-jurisdictional emergency response coordination, came to a successful end at 5 p.m. today, according to Government House.

The exercise was designed to test emergency responders’ incident management capabilities using the Incident Command System developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. More than 30 local and federal government agencies and the maritime industry participated.

At 8:30 a.m., the VI Water and Power Authority simulated a bomb threat to the Randolph Harley Plant and evacuated it workers, according to Government House.

WAPA’s evacuation drill was followed by a hazardous material incident scenario onboard Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Eclipse. As part of the scenario, a hazardous material released on the ship caused a number of passengers to become ill. This incident triggered a response from the V.I. Fire Service and the V.I. National Guard’s 23rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team. Schneider Regional Medical Center, the V.I. Department of Health, and the Florida Advanced Surgical and Transport Team also took part.

The day ended with a simulated situation involving an ersatz active shooter and a possible explosive device at the Lionel Roberts Stadium that required a response from the V.I. Police Department’s Special Response Team, EMS, the VI Fire Service, and the Guard's weapons of mass destruction unit again.

“This year we took a ‘whole community’ approach to exercising our capabilities, looking, not only at how we interact with our federal partners, but also how we would engage the private sector as well,” VITEMA Director Elton Lewis said in a statement. “We want to thank the Royal Caribbean for participating and allow us to use the Celebrity Eclipse as one of venues.”

Operation Tide Breaker tested emergency response capabilities like information sharing and dissemination, communications, onsite incident management, emergency triage and pre-hospital treatment, medical evacuation, WMD, and hazardous materials and explosives response.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fully-funded the exercise, which was designed to test local and federal emergency responders’ ability to manage a complex, large scale incident. Planners from FEMA’s Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program staff, VITEMA and the National Guard developed the concept and objectives. FEMA was also in the Territory to support and evaluate the exercise.

“Overall the exercise went well, especially when we factor in how large it was, and the number of participants we had,” VITEMA Assistant Director Noel Smith said. Smith served as the Exercise Director. “We will know for sure what areas worked well and what didn’t once the After Action Report is complete,” Smith said.

Over the next few weeks, FEMA’s HSEEP team will compile and assess the information provided by exercise evaluators and hold an After Action Report Conference with all of the participants.

For more information on Operation Tide Breaker visit the Virgin Islands Joint Information Center at www.governordejongh.com/jic.