The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Office of Emergency Management, will conduct a county-wide emergency exercise involving evacuations of several long term care facilities on Thursday, September 19, 2013, from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Residents living in the areas of these facilities should be aware that they will see emergency vehicles at these locations. The vehicles will also be travelling around various portions of the county during the exercise.

The facilities involved in this exercise are the John L. Montgomery Care Center, Freehold, Geraldine Thompson Care Center, Wall Township, The Willows at Holmdel, Meridian Nursing and Rehabilitation at Ocean Grove, Meridian Sub-Acute Rehabilitation at Wall, Meridian Nursing and Rehabilitation at Shrewsbury and Meridian Nursing and Rehabilitation at Bayshore Healthcare Center, Holmdel. Members of the Manalapan TEEN Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be utilized in place of the actual residents of the facilities.

The two main objectives of the exercise are to satisfy the yearly requirement of the care centers to conduct an emergency drill, which tests their emergency operating plans, and to test the ability of the County’s Office of Emergency Management to coordinate the evacuation and movement of patients from several long term care centers.

“This type of exercise is critical in ensuring that we can effectively and efficiently respond to crisis situations,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden, whose agency oversees the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management. “It allows us to evaluate our plans under simulated conditions so that we can identify and correct any weaknesses in our response plans before a real emergency occurs.”

Also participating in the exercise are the offices of emergency management and first responder agencies from each of the towns in which the facilities are located. In addition, both Medical Ambulance Buses from within the county and Alert Ambulance Service will be participating.

For questions or concerns, residents are being asked to call the Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management at (732) 431-7400.