SC Nat'l Guard to train during 'Operation Coastal Response 2014'

Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook
Photo from POD Exercise May 2011 (Source: Facebook)
Photo from POD Exercise May 2011 (Source: Facebook)

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The South Carolina National Guard will be training alongside Horry County's emergency responders during "Operation Coastal Response 2014" on Saturday, February 1.

The scenario mimics a commercial plane crash over land in Myrtle Beach.

More than 200 SC National Guard members will conduct training in Conway, Bucksport Marina, Wacca Wache Marina and around Georgetown and Horry Counties. Their portion of the exercise is called "Palmetto Thunder" and will practice capabilities of hazardous materials response, bridging operations, helicopter operations and public safety assistance.

You can expect to see an increase of military vehicles and rotary aircraft during this training, but do not be alarmed.

"This exercise validates our coordination procedures with county EOCs and first responders," said Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., The Adjutant General for SC. "The importance and value of conducting these exercises can be illustrated as recently as a few days ago, when our National Guard members supported the SC Department of Public Safety during the winter storm."

Horry County had asked for volunteers to represent victims of a plane crash over land.

"There will be 500 people out there," said Horry County Emergency Management Director Randy Webster.

Volunteers are asked to be at the James R. Frazier Community Center in Conway at 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, February 1. Volunteers must be available for the entire exercise, rain or shine. They should be prepared to sit, stand, or lay near or inside the fuselage.

"You can go back afterwards and say 'Maybe this way works better," said Webster, "or, 'No, that works well.'"

Breakfast and lunch will be provided along with a t-shirt. A change of clothes is necessary as all shirts will be ruined in order to apply fake injuries to each victim by the moulage artists.

Participating agencies include: Myrtle Beach International Airport, Horry County Emergency Management, Horry County Police, Horry County Fire/Rescue, Horry County E911 Dispatch, Horry County Sheriff's Office, Horry County Coroner's Office, Horry County Public Works, Horry County Public Information and Horry County Communications, Georgetown County Emergency Management, Georgetown County Fire/EMS, Georgetown Sheriff's Office, Georgetown County School District, Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire Department, Midway Fire/Rescue, US Coast Guard, SC Army National Guard, SC Emergency Management, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, the American Red Cross, Grand Strand Regional Medical Center, Conway Hospital, Georgetown Memorial Hospital, Waccamaw Community Hospital, McLeod Loris Hospital, and McLeod Seacoast Hospital.

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