Purchase photos

Fire departments plan county-wide training





Fire departments across Ellis County will take part in an intensive training exercise beginning Sunday morning.

Less than a handful of people know where the training will take place or what will be involved, Ellis County Rural Fire Director Dick Klaus said.

The session begins at 9 a.m.

That's when Klaus and Ellis County Emergency Management Director Bill Ring will hand off exercise instructions to a fire department in the county, detailing the circumstances they will face.

Klaus and Ring will observe the training and responses by the departments and offer critiques.

Fire departments from Hays, Victoria, Ellis and all seven departments within the rural fire department will be involved and likely will be called upon to respond to the exercise. The sheriff's office and Ellis County Emergency Medical Services will be participating as well.

"We will be having a drill somewhere in Ellis County," Klaus said.

The call will be paged out like normal, and Klaus wanted to get the word out early that it's a drill so scanner-listeners won't panic when the call is made.

"We want to see what our people can do," he said of the drill. "I'll be an observer."

Klaus simply isn't saying where the exercise will be located.

This is something of a rotating program, where different departments determine the nature of the incident and who responds.

"This is something that takes place every year," Klaus said. "It just changes places."

All of the rural fire districts will be involved, he said.

Ellis and Victoria, he said, will hold back rescue vehicles in the event of an emergency, such as a crash on Interstate 70, during the exercise.

The training is expected to last until noon.

Klaus said the departments won't use any water during the exercise, but they will set up trucks as if they're fighting the fires, and they will deploy fire hoses.

"We just want people to know there's a drill going on," he said.