State emergency response team participates in week-long joint reconnaissance training

TALLAHASSEE - - Members of the State Emergency Response Team will participate in a week-long training event focused on enhancing reconnaissance activities during disasters. The training, which will be held at the Florida Fire College in Ocala, will include exercises in rapid impact assessment, interoperable communications and a full day of field exercise.

“The Reconnaissance Unit is truly the eyes and ears of the State Emergency Response Team,” said David Halstead, Interim Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “This important training will help further the Unit’s abilities to provide actionable intelligence during disasters.”

Those participating in the training include members of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Fish and Wildlife Commission, Department of Health, Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida National Guard, Marion County Emergency Management, and the Civil Air Patrol. The training is fully National Incident Management System/Incident Command System compliant and will consist of nearly 75 participants.

Though this is an annual training event, this year’s exercise is by far the largest gathering of the affiliated state agencies and the first to exercise interoperable communications. During disasters, the Reconnaissance Unit gathers data to provide initial assessments, defines the impacted area of the incident, and seeks out usable roads and bridges for use by the State Emergency Response Team for the initial push of humanitarian support to impacted areas.

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