County-wide emergency plan updated

Recent nationwide violence led to review

COLUMBIA, Mo. - On Friday, emergency responders are discussing new tactics and updating their emergency plan in the event of an attack.

In the closed-door meeting, high-level department representatives from Boone County Fire, Sheriff, Columbia City Fire, Police, Centralia and University of Missouri Police, ambulance services and 911 Joint Communications, reviewed their current emergency plans and how they would work together.

In a disaster, day-to-day operations that go on in our community will be amplified, said Scott Olsen, interim director of Boone County's emergency management, who also serves as the county's fire chief. 

Olsen said attacks, in the case of an active shooter, would put first responders to the test. If they are going in to save injured people, they need to coordinate with law enforcement to see how they can safely do that without getting hurt themselves.

Currently, each department runs their own practice drills separately, but Olsen said training together in a unified command is more realistic in a disaster.

He reassures that he and his team in emergency management are reviewing how they can incorporate the different agencies to work together.

The Emergency Operations Plan, a manual that spells out what each department is in charge of in an emergency, is currently being updated. A revised version is expected in November.

Changes may include personnel, phone numbers and adding sections that deal with new threats. There is a section that specifically deals with terrorism.

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