High school hosts multi-agency training exercise


Douglas Okanogan County Fire District 15 ICU ambulances stood ready to transport “casualties” to Three Rivers Hospital.
BREWSTER – Law enforcement, EMS, and emergency response teams conducted a Multi-Agency Training Exercise (MATE) at Brewster High School early Monday morning, March 27. The monitored exercise was designed to assess the readiness and reactions of first-responders. Street accesses to BHS were blocked, checkpoints established, and a lockdown imposed on all unauthorized personnel.

BREWSTER – Law enforcement, EMS, and emergency response teams conducted a Multi-Agency Training Exercise (MATE) at Brewster High School early Monday morning, March 27.
The monitored exercise was designed to assess the readiness and reactions of first-responders. Street accesses to BHS were blocked, checkpoints established, and a lockdown imposed on all unauthorized personnel. Those restrictions extended to a member of the news media - requested to participate in the same manner a real-life incident would predict – to test interactions with  news representatives and access to designated sources.
The MATE was organized by Brewster Police Chief, Nattalie Cariker, and included law enforcement from Okanogan, Douglas and Chelan counties, Washington State Patrol, responders from Fire District 15, local EMS, WADOT, Three Rivers Hospital, Brewster public works and school staff volunteers. Administrators from the Brewster and Pateros school districts observed the exercise and Okanogan County Emergency Manager, Maurice Goodall, served as an adviser.
Cariker said other jurisdictions around the nation have conducted similar intruder training. The chief said she decided to schedule a MATE at Brewster following an earlier training exercise held at BHS last year.
Monitors, both from local responder teams and from outside the area, were on hand to observe and evaluate every step in the hour-long exercise. The MATE started at about 7:30 a.m. and ended at 8:30 a.m. so as not to interfere with regular school classes.
Three Rivers Hospital was also on temporary lockdown to allow medical staff to tend to the mock casualties transported by EMTs from the school to the hospital.
“We wanted to make this as realistic as possible,” Goodall said.
One goal of the MATE is to improve the response, turnaround and resolution results so that funding can be acquired to expand MATE to other school districts.

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