Vero News

Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Operations hold large-scale training exercise

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A large-scale critical-incident response training exercise with sheriff’s deputies and emergency service workers closed 43rd Avenue Tuesday. Several other law enforcement agencies, as well as staff from the school district, also participated in the training, sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Kevin Jaworski said.

“This is a readiness exercise in response to a critical incident at a school. It is a scenario-based exercise focusing on a multi-agency response,” Jaworski said before the training. “A critical incident could be anything – shooting, natural disasters, etc. At this point, the participants do not know what they are responding to. They will be informed once the scenario starts.”

The training, conducted by the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office and the Emergency Operations Center, took place from 8 a.m. to about 2 p.m. Sheriff’s officials said 43rd Avenue was blocked from 41st Street to 45th Street.

Deputies advised motorists to take alternate routes.

“The area will be closed to the public,” Jaworski said.

Tuesday’s training was the largest multi-agency exercise conducted by the sheriff’s office, Jaworski said. The training allows agencies to practice current procedures and look for ways to improve their responses.

“The importance of working with multiple agencies is to ensure that we as a county are ready to respond to any critical incident no matter where the incident is within the county,” Jaworski said. “If we all train together, we will be familiar with everyone’s procedures.”

Other law enforcement agencies that were part of the training include the Vero Beach Police Department, Sebastian Police Department, Indian River Shores Public Safety Department, Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Jaworski said. More groups that participated include Indian River County Fire Rescue, Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, Indian River State College and the School District of Indian River County.

“The college and school district are providing some role players,” Jaworski said prior to the event. “All adults. No children will be participating.”

The sheriff’s office holds the training frequently for agencies and also hosts critical response training for the public, Jaworski said.

“Our community affairs unit works with local businesses, churches and communities to offer critical incident response training to them,” Jaworski said. “This is done when requested.”

For more information on critical response training for the public, call the sheriff’s office at 772-569-6700 and ask for the community affairs unit.

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