Local gas station to host mock explosion

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At 7 a.m. on Sept. 6, a mock Improvised Explosive Device (IED) will detonate at the Marathon Station in Franklin Township and the Township fire department will be dispatched.

The exercise is part of a county-wide training exercise organized by the Franklin County Board of Health. Upper Arlington will begin the day with its mock disaster scheduled for 6 am and Westerville will end the exercise at 6 pm at St. Ann’s Hospital.

The board of heath requests all residents to stay clear of exercise areas which will be clearly marked with signs stating, “This is an exercise.”

The purpose of the exercise is to test the capacity of first responders and specialty units (such as bomb squads and tactical teams). Volunteers and actors will play parts while the actual police and fire units respond as if it were a true incident.

Franklin Township Fire Chief Richard Howard said he approached Marathon to ask if they wanted to be involved and they were “real eager to participate.”

“This is bigger than anything done anywhere before,” Howard said. “We will flood hospitals with mass casualties.”

The fire departments for Prairie Township and Jackson Township will cover for Franklin Township during the exercise.  In the event of a real emergency, the drill will be suspended.

Data will be collected during the drill to analyze where the departments excel and where they are deficient, Howard said.

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