Eau Claire's Emergency Plan

Eau Claire county has no specific plan for a bridge collapse. But, emergency management workers say its much more complicated than that.

They say if a bridge fails, a more general plan, known as an all-hazard plan will kick in.

"We do a hazard analysis to see what the top types of events are that we might have in this area and bridge collapse has not been real high on that list, although the things that we do, do address bridge collapse," emergency management coordinator Hal Swanstrom said.

Swanstrom says Eau Claire's current plan has been tried and tested for years, beginning in the 1980s. He says it addresses common emergencies like tornado's and forest fires most specifically.

But it also covers emergency situations including a bridge collapse in general terms, using an incident command system.

He says that system helps pull together the resources of multiple agencies, police, fire and hazardous materials to form an organized and efficient response.

Still, Swanstrom says after the events in Minnesota, emergency management workers will be taking a closer look at our emergency plan, to see if any changes need to be made. He says there's always room for improvement.

Swanstrom says large or small, no community will have all the resources they need for every emergency, that's why mutual aid plans set-up ahead of time are so important.


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