News Flash


Posted on: June 30, 2023

Departments prepare for mass disaster

Friday, June 30, 2023

AUBURN – Representatives from the Auburn Fire Department joined representatives from neighboring first responder agencies and support agencies on Thursday to prepare for the worst case scenario.

Area first responders gathered Thursday at the Community Learning Center in Kendallville for a table top training exercise to help them prepare for a scenario which would require multiple departments. The scenario centered around a train wreck on the DeKalb/Noble county lRetired Chief Mike VanZileine, similar to the one that happened in Palestine, Ohio in February 3.

If it were to happen here, area responders will have a much better idea on how to deal with the emergency after planning and thinking things through during the three hour training.

The training exercise was led by Noble County EMA Director Gabe Creech, DeKalb County EMA Director Jason Meek and retired Auburn Fire Chief Mike VanZile, who now works with DeKalb County’s Homeland Security Office.

One of the main topics stressed during the exercise was the need for cooperation between the departments.

A big component to a major disaster is the major response which would follow. First responders from as far away as Elkhart and Fort Wayne would likely make the scene. Having places for the large contingent of equipment to stage and someone to manage that is a major issue in a scenario such as this.

The parameters of the scenario were themselves problematic, which was the intent of the incident. It was set up to be a challenge with key areas to consider. The accident happened on the Noble/DeKalb county line at 9 a.m. in the morning, which is a challenge to area departments with manpower. The derailment location was close to U.S. 6 a major roadway, which handles a large amount of vehicles on a daily basis. The spill included a release of vinyl chloride, a hazardous chemical.

Creech described the scenario as a “nightmare.”

By working through such an incident, even if it’s only on paper, would make the “real deal” all the more manageable.

“We’re thinking of the bigger picture,” Creech said. “That was the point of this exercise.”

Photo and story information credit Matt Getts, editor The News Sun, Kendallville. 

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Home

Free Fall Fair fills downtown with fun

Posted on: September 25, 2023

Singer, songwriter to lead fair parade

Posted on: September 18, 2023

Community turns out for YMCA cruise-in

Posted on: September 8, 2023

54th Edsel Owners Club comes to town

Posted on: September 5, 2023

Why you should care about stormwater

Posted on: July 17, 2023

Four Auburn firefighters promoted

Posted on: June 7, 2023

A week to remember and honor

Posted on: May 14, 2023

Roadwork set to begin May 15

Posted on: May 8, 2023

City highlighted in national magazine

Posted on: April 25, 2023

Mayors continue monthly meetings

Posted on: March 24, 2023

Rain barrel workshop scheduled

Posted on: March 17, 2023

Mayor declares Feb. 20-25 Tri Kappa Week

Posted on: February 23, 2023

Prosser sworn-in

Posted on: February 22, 2023

Mayors begin collaborative initiative

Posted on: February 17, 2023

City joins Cast Iron Century Club

Posted on: January 31, 2023

District 5 Councilman Walter passes away

Posted on: January 29, 2023

Christmas trees to be recycled

Posted on: December 29, 2022

New Website

Posted on: December 13, 2022

Water Pollution Control Storm Water Series

Posted on: December 12, 2022

Website Personalization Now Available!

Posted on: November 22, 2016