About 45 local government officials will spend three days next week sharpening their "what if" skills at an earthquake response clinic sponsored by Salt Lake County and the state.
The program is similar to one conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Emmitsburg, Md., that was attended by about 70 Salt Lake area officials in January. Officials there received special emergency response training and tested their skills in a Wasatch Fault earthquake scenario that was designed by FEMA officials who mapped out the scenario after making a field trip to Salt Lake City.Next week's training will be taught by the staff of the county's Fire Emergency Services Department and the state Comprehensive Emergency Management Division, mostly for the benefit of local officials who couldn't attend the FEMA earthquake school in Emmitsburg, said Kathy Cuff Case, Fire Emergency Services coordinator.
Participants include mayors, public works directors, fire marshals, attorneys, purchasing agents and building inspectors. Almost all of the instructors participated in the Emmitsburg training, Cuff-Case said.
Classroom instruction Monday will include information about an earthquake's geological and geotechnical effects, the role different levels of government play in earthquake preparedness, fire and law enforcement and emergency medical services coordination. Wednesday, the group will participate in a mock earthquake exercise.
The Emmitsburg scenario was based on an earthquake with a Richter Scale magnitude of 6.9. Cuff-Case said she didn't know how severe the quake will be in the Salt Lake exercise.