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Robert Rhoades's Blog (14)

The Value of Exercises

I recently served as a controller for an exercise up in New England.  This was a combined exercise based on the dispersion of Anthrax.  This in itself makes it a terrorist incident.  Present at the exercise were fire, EMS, Hospitals, Emergency Management???and one lone policeman.

Unfortunately this is not an exception but pretty much the rule when it comes to exercises, law enforcement just doesn?t show up most of the time. Although in most every case, the training of our law…


Added by Robert Rhoades on April 16, 2011 at 12:05pm — 1 Comment

Biologic Incidents - Looking Back.....

After 30 years in the fire service, the last six as a hazmat tech for the state of Ohio, I thought I was pretty sharp about dealing with hazardous materials.  Then I transferred to the Health Department as an emergency response coordinator.  Then 9/11 happened.  Suddenly I needed to know a whole lot about some things that I knew very little about.  My colleagues at the health department needed to know about response too.  So the die was cast and we forged ahead.




Added by Robert Rhoades on January 15, 2011 at 6:48pm — No Comments

ISO Ratings.

There has been a lot of questions concerning ISO ratings in our area. I've compiled some information written from reading everything I could find on the subject. The ISO website is very good and the information is easy to find.k Check it out on my Blogspot:

Added by Robert Rhoades on August 24, 2010 at 2:01am — No Comments

All over but the shouting

I have retired and am now trying to figure out what to do when I don't have to do anything.

Added by Robert Rhoades on January 14, 2010 at 7:30pm — No Comments


At a recent full scale exercise I was the fire controller and an old acquaintenance of my was the evaluator. This was an IED type exercise at a school football game. Initial response was from the Twp. PD who did an excellent job of taping off the area and controlling the scene. The fire department arrived on the scene with a command vehicle, turned on the big green light and never stepped foot in it again. It was hard to watch an incident like this because the safety of responders was in… Continue

Added by Robert Rhoades on July 7, 2009 at 2:57pm — 2 Comments

Where have I been?

I have neglected the blog bujt have still been paying attention. I was involved with a large full scale exercise in Logan County, Ohio last weekend. While doing research on the after action repor. I stumbled onto a pretty neat program for accountability. It's called In Site Accountabilty System by Vernon Software. Check it out at I think it's a good system.

Added by Robert Rhoades on June 24, 2009 at 9:10pm — No Comments

More about the Master Exercise Practioner Program (MEP)

Previously I posted a comment from Emmitsburg about the Master Exercise Program and I thought that I'd update that by explaining the program. The MEP certification means that a candidate has successfully completed three weeks of instruction on the development, control and evaluation of exercises. The Master Exercise Practitioner Program (MEPP) eligibility includes local, Tribal, State, Territorial, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other Federal agency emergency management/emergency…


Added by Robert Rhoades on April 1, 2009 at 7:44pm — No Comments

New Job

After almost 17 years with the state of Ohio I decided it was time to move on. On December 15th I began working for a government contractor called L-3 Communications. They are the 8th largest contractor to the Feds and part of an even larger conglomerate. I am assigned to the Ohio Emergency Managment Agency and tasked with working on a team that develops and delivers exercises to the state agencies and the counties of Ohio.

Added by Robert Rhoades on January 19, 2009 at 4:34pm — No Comments

Sad Day in Darke County, Ohio

Retired Fire Chief, Carl "Bud" Gray of the Arcanum Fire Department passed away early Tuesday morning. He was 80 years old. Bud served the village for over 40 years as a firefighter with many of those as chief. He was one old dog who could be taught new tricks. He called me one day and wanted to know if I would be interested in becoming the training officer for the department. He explained that he wasn't very happy with the way things were going. So, began a long relationship for me with the… Continue

Added by Robert Rhoades on November 26, 2008 at 7:30am — 2 Comments

A touch of the Amish

The recent movement of Hurrican Ike through Ohio proved the old point, if you dont' like the weather, stick around for a day, it'll change. Responses for down utility lines rolled into departnments across the affected area for about 18 hours. I've always been amazed that the fire department is the only entity that can figure out what type of line is hanging from a pole. Why is that? And so in the Central Region of Ohio around Columbus, it went on for about 11 days with a lot of people in the… Continue

Added by Robert Rhoades on September 25, 2008 at 6:55am — No Comments

G******** from Emmitsburg

G******** from Emmitsburg and the Emergency Management Institute/National Fire Academy. I'm here as part of the instructor cadre for Series 10 of the Master Exercise Practioner Class. These folks will graduate on Thursday including the first Chinese National ever to take the class. The Master Exercise Practioner Class has trained over 500 people from across the United States to develop and carry out every phase of an exercise program. There are 62 people in this class from a very good cross… Continue

Added by Robert Rhoades on August 27, 2008 at 9:06am — 2 Comments

Knox County Pandemic Flu Exercis

Kudo's to Chief Shawn Kristie, Mt. Vernon Fire Dept for his department's involvement in the Knox County Health Department 2008 Pandemic Flu Exercise. It was good to see fire, EMS and law enforcement all sitting at the same table working through many problems that would concern their departments during this type of incident. All of public safety needs to develop this attititude to public health emergencies. Mt. Vernon PD, Knox County Sheriff, County EMS, Citizens Crop, Medical Reserve Corp…


Added by Robert Rhoades on July 15, 2008 at 9:12am — No Comments

Pandemic Flu Planning

This is a good site for Pandemic Flu planning.

Added by Robert Rhoades on July 3, 2008 at 7:56am — No Comments

Ohio Hazmat - WMD Awareness Class Manual

The Ohio Hazmat - WMD Awareness Course Manual can be found at

Added by Robert Rhoades on July 3, 2008 at 7:54am — 1 Comment

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