This exercise will include members of the college’s emergency response team, local first responders, staff from Walker Baptist Medical Center and area emergency agencies.
To create a realistic response to the event, specific details of the event are not being released publicly but all involved agencies emphasized the need for the public to remain calm and allow the first responders to run through the drill.
The CRI program is federally-funded through the Center for Disease Control and designed to prepare agencies for large-scale bioterrorism events. This event is just a planned exercise and presents no actual threat for the public or participants in the drill.
The CRI targets the nation’s largest cities and heavily populated metropolitan areas. Birmingham is one such city and the east Walker and west Jefferson areas are considered suburbs with high levels of commuter traffic for the purposes of this drill. For such an event, Bevill State serves as a landmark and coordinating area for the larger area.
CRI was founded in 2004 with 21 cities funded but was expanded in 2005 to include 36 cities and again in 2006 to include 72 metropolitan cities. These 72 cities include at least one city in each state and make up more than 50 percent of the nation’s population. Birmingham is the only Alabama city included in the program at this time.
The event is organized and sponsored by the Alabama Department of Public Health and supported by the Walker County Emergency Management Agency, Bevill State, The City of Sumiton’s police and fire personnel and other area groups.