Aroostook EMA (AKEMA) has completed a full-scale exercise on September 27th, 2014. The exercise was held at the Tate and Lyle facility on Morningstar Road in Houlton.
The exercise has been considered a success by all entities involved. Jesse Belanger, Deputy Director and Exercise Coordinator with Aroostook County EMA explained, “We had a number of objectives in place to test the capabilities of many agencies, and we were able to meet those objectives. We were also able to identify a number of areas to continue improving our response capabilities here in Aroostook County.”
There were no injuries or real world incidents related to the exercise. Aroostook County EMA and the Town of Houlton would like to thank the area residents for the cooperation with staying a safe distance away from the exercise area.
This exercise helped to train and test the readiness of a large number of departments and teams throughout Aroostook County. Participating agencies included:
• Aroostook County Emergency Management
• Aroostook County IMAT
• Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department
• Aroostook County Decon Strike Team 1
• Aroostook County Decon Strike Team 2
• Aroostook County HazMat Regional Response Team
• Houlton Ambulance Department
• Houlton Fire Department
• Houlton Police Departmet
• Houlton Regional Hospital
• Maine Department of Environmental Protection
• Maine Emergency Management
• Tate and Lyle Facility
Aroostook County’s three regional WMD/HazMat teams, comprised of two Decon Strike Teams located in Houlton and Presque Isle and a technician level Regional Response team located in Madawaska, comprised the main focus of the exercise. These teams were supported by technicians from Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Aroostook County coordinates a number of exercises throughout the year, with at least one large full-scale exercise annually. This full-scale training exercise provided departments the opportunity to practice their readiness and skills in a real life scenario, and provided a basis to make necessary improvements.