Regional first responders test skill and teamwork with year’s largest drill

Winona County Emergency Management held a Full Scale Emergency Response Drill at the Dakota Fire Station on Saturday.

Ben Klinger, the director of Winona County Emergency Management, said it is their biggest emergency drill of the year.

More than 100 emergency responders from area departments worked together during a simulated train derailment.

A company from the Minneapolis area conducted the drill, which was made possible by a grant from the state.

Klinger said the exercise helps mutual aid partners work together and see how well they are able to respond to emergencies.

“We learn how to integrate all these agencies together. The biggest thing is: You put a face to these agencies too. If we have to meet sometime in the middle of the night in the dark, you know who you’re dealing with already. The worst time to meet somebody for the first time’s on an emergency scene,” said Klinger.

There was also a live test of the Emergency Alert System. Winona Emergency Management asks that you go to its Facebook page and fill out a survey if you received the test on TV or the radio.

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