Emergency Responders Face Wave of Adrenalin

Simulation creates some uncomfortable situations for newbie role players.

Putting people in uncomfortable positions — that's part of the training required for them to get comfortable and handle rocky situations when an urgent time comes.

On Thursday, about 35 emergency response experts and volunteers from several agencies convened at the headquarters and ran through a simulation of an Alaskan-bred tsunami threatening the western shore of San Pablo Bay and Novato's low-lying eastern neighborhoods.

Event director Dave Jeffries, a captain with the , said about half the drill participants had not played their assigned roles in previous situations, which made things a bit more uncomfortable for a few of them. Evaluators took notes

"We have to keep them on their toes," he said.

The emergency response team showed up at 7:45 a.m. and had a briefing by 8:15 and braced for the tidal wave's scheduled impact at 10:40 a.m. At about noon, the first wave of responders prepared to brief the incoming second wave.

The drill was sponsored and coordinated by the Marin County Office of Emergency Services with assistance of exercise planners from the state Emergency Management Agency. Most of the participants were from the Novato Police Department, Novato Fire District, city of Novato and other groups.


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