On Saturday, January 9th, deputy chief ranger Mark Hnat and chief ranger David Fox conducted regional training on the incident command system. The training, hosted by Garfield County sheriff Danny Perkins, marked the culmination of three months of planning and years of work building a partnership between the NPS and Garfield County. There were approximately 100 EMTs, firefighters, deputies, police officers and SAR personnel in attendance from a county of 4,000 residents.
The training included a lecture, communications exercises, and a tabletop exercise. The training also provided a forum to improve upon emergency response procedures based on a review of several recent incidents in Garfield County. The one-day event concluded with three scenarios including a house fire, a motor vehicle accident, and a land search and technical rescue in which different emergency services groups were called upon to go through the steps they would take via radio to set up a command system, call for needed resources, and ensure efficient incident management. It provided an overall picture of how their required NIMS training applies to real life scenarios.
A Utah Department of Homeland Security official, Ron Mosher, attended the training and said he was impressed by the turnout in the county, especially considering that over 90% of the attendees were volunteers who gave up their Saturday to improve emergency response to Garfield County residents.
The partnership between the County and Bryce Canyon contributed to the great success of the training. The sheriff has asked Bryce Canyon rangers continue to provide similar training on an annual basis.