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News | Aug. 10, 2023

Installation exercise to test emergency response capabilities

By Kristin Molinaro DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

The Defense Supply Center Columbus will conduct a full-scale active shooter exercise Aug. 17 to test emergency response procedures.

The exercise will incorporate first responder protocols, shelter-in-place drills and lockdown actions at installation buildings and access points as participating agencies practice operational responses in real time.

Participants include Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Defense Finance and Accounting Service – Columbus, the Ohio National Guard, DLA Police Department, DLA Fire Department and local emergency services in the surrounding area.

Glynn Pleasant, the installation’s Emergency Operations Manager, said knowledge gained during the exercise will help ensure organizations both inside and outside DSCC’s perimeter are ready to respond side-by-side in a crisis to save lives and provide essential support during recovery operations.

For the exercise, Pleasant created an authentic scenario to assess the capability of DSCC to respond to and recover from an active shooter event that results in casualties or potential damage to critical assets.

“This helps our workforce become more familiar with exercising all parts of their emergency action plans and gives us a valuable opportunity to evaluate the plans, policies and procedures which are written to keep the installation safe,” he said.

During the scenario, the DLA Land and Maritime workforce will react in real time to a situation initiated by anonymous role players. DFAS – Columbus and the Ohio National Guard will participate in the lockdown and respond according to their established emergency action plans. Designated evaluators and base leadership will be on site throughout the exercise to monitor progress and identify opportunities for further training.

Pleasant cautioned that traffic attempting to enter or exit the installation during this period may experience minor delays. Installation employees should expect to see emergency vehicles and hear loudspeaker announcements.

Pleasant said the value of exercising emergency responses versus simulating them can’t be overstated.

“You always fall back on training in any stressful situation,” he said. “People may think they have the correct answer when you simulate a response but that is not always the case once they must perform the actions.”

Pleasant said that full-scale exercises such as this one lay the groundwork for more complex scenarios in the future.

“The overarching goal is to ensure we have a workforce that is prepared to respond to any hazard they might face,” he said. “They will be able to take the skills they learn here and put them to use at home. A well trained and exercised workforce will respond quicker and more efficiently.”