Boy Scouts aid in emergency response effort
July 2, 2013
Members of the Northern Nevada Boy Scouts of America recently helped inform the community and assist the Fallon Police Department while also working toward a vital merit badge.
The drill the was final requirement for Scouts who are earning the Emergency Preparedness merit badge. This merit badge is a requirement for Eagle Scout, the highest rank a Boy Scout can earn.
The drill was integrated into the annual Boy Scout Merit Badge Fair and included Scout troops from Fallon, Fernley, Lovelock and from as far away as Tonopah.
Scout members were given a scenario that required the city of Fallon to prepare for possible evacuation due to a flood or other hazard. This exercise gave the scouts the training and experience required to augment first responders in a supporting capacity.
In 2011, for example, local boy scouts helped stand up and operate the emergency evacuation center for passengers on the Amtrak train involved in a railroad crossing collision.
Fallon Police Department Officer John Riley and Police Services Assistant Doni Kowalski conducted the drill by setting up a mobile command post, task organizing the scouts, assigning sectors, providing safety guidance and equipping them with mobile radios.
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They were assisted by Erik Endacott, an Eagle Scout and Emergency Merit Badge Counselor.
Scouts fanned out across the city and collected information for police that would assist in the evacuation scenario, for example, finding out where a family might relocate during an evacuation. They also assisted in identifying citizens that might require extra assistance during an evacuation due to physical limitation (wheel chair, hearing impaired or on oxygen) or other issues that may require transportation assistance.
Special needs information was relayed into a confidential database with the Fallon Police Department. Anyone who would like to provide information to the database that could result in extra assistance during an emergency situation is encouraged to call the Fallon Police Department at 423-2111.