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Will County Hosts Regional First Responder Training and Exercise
Matthew Libs

Will County Hosts Regional First Responder Training and Exercise

The Will County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) hosted a hands-on training for first responders in Monee, aimed at bringing together police, fire, and dispatch agencies to coordinate effectively on various active threat incidents.

“These trainings are critical to get all agencies on the same page and to be prepared for a wide variety of emergency situations,” said Will County EMA Director Allison Anderson. “In the early stages of a crisis, when seconds matter, it’s important that first responders are working together cohesively.” 

The training is part of a multi-year effort by Will County EMA to implement a more standardized response from county-wide agencies to large scale active threat incidents. The “command and control” model establishes procedures for police, fire, and dispatch officials to implement within the first few hours of an active threat incident. 

Along with being trained on a unified response model, attendees participated in a hands-on implementation exercise. The training simulated how police, fire, and dispatch officials would work together in various active threat responses. Will County EMA worked with a variety of local partners to host the training, including the Will County Sheriff’s Office, Wilmington Fire Protection District, Manhattan Fire Protection District, Minooka Fire Protection District, Monee Police Department, Shorewood Police Department, Joliet 9-1-1, and WESCOM. 

“Developing a unified model for active threat incidents is crucial to a successful response,” said Will County EMA Preparedness and Recovery Manager Chelsea Bowen. “We’re thankful for the continued attendance of agencies to our trainings, which is helping build more resilient communities throughout the county and region.” 

Over 50 first responders attended the training, which included representatives from Grundy County, the Illinois Secretary of State Police, and the Rochelle Community Consolidated District #231 in addition to Will County agencies. Will County EMA also welcomed 10 representatives from interested in adopting the “command and control” model from Boone County, Missouri. 

“Will County’s Emergency Management Agency continues to provide regional and state leadership on critical public safety topics,” said Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant. “Bringing together officials from throughout the state and nation to share information and strategies is helping keep our communities safe.”

Will County EMA has trained over 600 first responders on the “command and control” model since its implementation. First responders interested in participating in future trainings can email ema@willcountyillinois.com.

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