Colleton County Fire-Rescue


12/March/2024 - Statewide Exercise (Tuesday & Wednesday)

Colleton County participated in the SC Statewide Exercise which is intended to test and evaluate capabilities of preparedness, emergency response capabilities and mutual aid at all levels of State and local governments. The primary scenario for 2024 involved a large-scale earthquake hitting the Lowcountry region, primarily centered in the metro Charleston area. The exercise (drill) was divided up into different portions and took place over a week and half. On Tuesday, Colleton Fire-Rescue and the Sheriff's Office conducted their portion at West Bank Landing off of Hope Plantation Lane in Jacksonboro. The scenario involved a railroad bridge failure with a freight train derailment into the Edisto River. Firefighter-Paramedics and Sheriff's Deputies deployed boats to the river, simulated a Haz-Mat  response, a decontamination line and the mitigation of a rail car with a chlorine leak. A simulated evacuation of the surrounding community and the closure of US Hwy 17, which is an evacuation route from the earthquake stricken Charleston area, was practiced and caused simulated traffic problems with people fleeing Charleston County and mutual aid responders attempting to reach Charleston. The Colleton County portion of the Drill lasted into the mid afternoon. It provided many training opportunities for personnel and an evaluation of techniques and response processes. 
Wednesday was a continuation of the same scenario, evaluating the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) portion of the evaluation. Many Emergency Support Function (ESF) partners participated and worked at the EOC coordinating resources for Colleton and the surrounding Counties. As the Earthquake struck the region, many bridges suffered simulated damage, closing travel routes.  A large natural gas pipeline rupture also wreaked havoc in the area causing simulated evacuations, health emergencies and fires. SCEMD had personnel at the Center assisting, as well as Law Enforcement, Red Cross and County and SCDOT. Coordination with a multitude of agencies was exercised as temporary housing for evacuees was needed and mutual aid resources for Colleton and the surrounding areas was needed. The EOC portion also ran into the mid afternoon.