Jackson has large exercise planned for this spring
BY BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Henry County Emergency Management Director Walt Jackson told the county board of supervisors Thursday that he is winding up planning for a full-scale search-and-rescue exercise March 24-25 at Oakland Mills.
“It is going to start out as a state prison exercise with an escapee and then turn into a missing person exercise,” Jackson said. He said that he has landed Iowa Task Force One for the two-day event.
Iowa Task Force One will be bringing in dogs, boats, drones and helicopters, Jackson noted. “It will be quite a large exercise for a county our size. We are going to have the four-county school districts participate and it will be a whole community approach.”
The emergency management director said that having Iowa Task Force One participate will cost between $24,000-$25,000, which will be paid by the state.
The supervisors were told county officials should be receiving even more training this year as Sarah Berndt, county coordinator of disability services/general assistance director, said there are plans to bring crisis intervention team services to Henry County. A crisis intervention team primarily interacts with mental illness and autism cases, she said. “The team will train (law enforcement) officers on how to deal with these two things. It will help us deal with those in the community who are not doing well fare better.”
Berndt said she hopes crisis intervention begins in the county in the next year.