Vienna to have emergency drill today

VIENNA – Vienna today will be holding its first emergency drill in the morning and the visionary planning session for the Johns Manville property in the evening, officials said.

Residents of Vienna will hear the fire station siren sound an extended tone at 11 a.m. today, marking the start of the city’s first emergency drill, said Mayor Randy Rapp.

The drill is designed to test the city’s emergency plan in its entirety, Rapp said.

“We want to make sure our plan works,” Rapp said.

When the alarm sounds at 11 a.m., the city will begin its drill, a simulation of a truck striking the substation beside the Foodland on River Road.

Although it will only be a simulation, the city and all county emergency services will react as if it is real, Rapp said.

Power will remain on throughout the city and all major roadways will remain open during the drill, Rapp said. Only River Road from 23rd Street to Grand Central Avenue will be closed during the exercise, he said.

Residents should expect to see a lot of activity and noise around the city, Rapp said. All of the city’s generators will be brought online during the drill and the emergency shelter system unveiled by the city earlier this month will be activated, Rapp said.

Vienna Police will be ferrying information to the city’s emergency locations. Wayside United Methodist Church at 3001 Grand Central Ave. will be activated as an emergency shelter, just like it would be in a real emergency, Rapp said.

The 911 mobile command center will be on scene during the drill, as will Wood County emergency crews, ambulances, fire engines and police cars, Rapp said. Broadcasts will be made on emergency scanner bands as if the situation were really taking place.

All broadcasts will end with an announcement informing those listening that it is part of the exercise, Rapp said.

“This is only a drill. We don’t want to scare anyone,” Rapp said.

The fire station alarm will sound again when the drill ends, Rapp said. It is expected to last approximately one hour.

After a morning of emergency preparation, the city will host a visionary meeting at the Vienna Community Building in Jackson Park from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Patrick Kirby and Carrie Station, both with the Brownfields program, will be coming from Morgantown to explain the status of the Johns Manville site to the community, Rapp said.

The cleanup process will be discussed and public questions about the site will be answered, Rapp said.

The meeting will also discuss future development possibilities and help the city to develop a vision as to how the land can best be used by the city, Rapp said.