County hosts disaster search class

It’s not the most pleasant thing to think about, but nevertheless it was an important training session hosted by Marshall County Emergency Management last week.

The office hosted a wide area search class at the Sheriff’s Office, which detailed what to do if a disaster wiped out an entire town.

“It’s if you have a very large scale disaster and you are searching,” said Kim Elder, director of Marshall County Emergency Management. “It’s being able to locate things without having any landmarks left.”

The three-day training session was run by a group from Texas A&M and is paid for by FEMA. The session drew first responders, the Iowa National Guard, the Certified Emergency Response Team and other county entities such as geographical information systems.

Elder said disasters of high magnitude can strike at any time and this training allows emergency personnel to be better at responding and searching for people.

“Unfortunately, these kinds of big disasters happen,” Elder said. “If a town is totally wiped out, where do you start?”

She feels the training was very beneficial.

“I think it’s very important to learn these.” Elder said. “We needed to dive a little deeper and not be afraid to learn things outside of our security area. It went very well.”