“Today’s simulated event is an example of a hurricane that came off shore, off the Atlantic. It went up into the Appalachian Mountains and dropped about four to eight inches of rain. It’s all scenario-based,” said FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Communications Specialist John Freeburger.
FEMA along with multiple other public safety agencies chose various locations throughout the City of Frederick on Wednesday to conduct a communication exercise drill in case of a natural disaster.
“We chose Frederick today, because some of the assets that we are working [with], we have a lot of things that are stored here in Frederick and some in Montgomery County. Due to the location of those two elements, we brought them both together,” said Freeburger.
FEMA officials said the equipment used during the drill will help first responders and rescue units communicate.
“We have approximately $1.8 million of equipment; everything from radios, mobile radios, satellite communications, aircraft radios, marine radios [and] a lot of data,” said Matthew Houck, Maryland Task Force 1.
The goal was to make the scenario as realistic as possible, and that’s why so many different safety agencies participated.
“We have Maryland Urban Search and Rescue, which is hosted out of Montgomery County. That’s called Maryland Task Force 1. We also have folks from the MERS Group of FEMA, and they provide communications for the recovery efforts for the entire FEMA program. We also did bring force protection with us. Today, we have the AFT team and the Communications Element assisting us,” Freeburger added.
FEMA officials said the communication drill only lasted for one day.