Military disaster response exercise returning to Mauston in July

If you are near Mile Bluff Medical Center the week of July 16, you will notice an increase of military vehicles on the road and in the air. Do not be alarmed. For the fourth year in a row, Mile Bluff will be participating in a disaster readiness training exercise sponsored by the National Guard.

PATRIOT North 2018 provides a realistic training opportunity for individuals and agencies involved with providing support in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The exercise will be conducted at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center, as well as in and around Mile Bluff. The training will include medical center personnel, along with local emergency response teams and the American Red Cross.

It is a great practical learning experience for agencies to work together in response to the community's needs in a time of emergency. Mile Bluff works at assessing and improving its internal response on a regular basis. PATRIOT North 2018 will provide a realistic exercise to assess and improve a coordinated response with outside agencies from the local, state and federal level.

In addition to the experience of executing critical care functions to support mass care and capacity situations, Mile Bluff's team will work with the National Guard to transport patients via helicopter and to work on evacuation response.

As exciting as it might seem to get up close to this training, the response teams thank you for your cooperation in allowing them the space needed to complete their duties without interruption from the public or local media representatives. Mile Bluff and the National Guard will document the event with pictures, so watch for reports during the exercise. For imagery and news during PATRIOT North 2018, watch Mile Bluff’s Facebook page for posts on where you can get the most up-to-date information, pictures and videos.

PATRIOT North 2018 is a great opportunity for all involved, and will help to provide additional emergency response training for the organizations participating.