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VADOC, first responder agencies conduct full-scale emergency exercise

The exercise scenarios at Bland Correctional Center included a large inmate disturbance with injuries, a hostage situation, an intentional fire and a multi-inmate escape

By Sarah Roebuck

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Corrections, along with several state and local first responder agencies, took part in a full-scale emergency exercise at Bland Correctional Center.

The exercise, which took place on May 29, was created to assess the VADOC’s Emergency Operations Plan and ensure that VADOC, along with its partner agencies, can respond effectively during critical incidents, VADOC said in a news release.

The exercise scenarios included a large inmate disturbance resulting in mass injuries and casualties, a hostage situation, an intentional fire set on facility property, the discovery of an improvised explosive device and a multi-inmate escape, according to VADOC.

The agencies that participated in the exercise alongside the VADOC included the Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Virginia Department of Transportation, Bland County Sheriff’s Office, Giles County Sheriff’s Office, Bland County Fire/EMS, Giles County Fire/EMS and Wythe County Community Hospital.

“Situations like these are a reality at our facilities and our corrections team and emergency response partners need to be prepared,” said VADOC Director Chad Dotson. “This exercise demonstrated our readiness and provided an opportunity to suggest any adjustments we might need to make.”