A massive earthquake hits Yellowstone, and now Great Falls is seeing a disastrous amount of flooding. That is the scenario county, emergency and military officials are working through over the course of several days.
Many may have noticed the red 'DANGER' tape, tents, and emergency personnel in the parking lot just west of the Calumet building on Smelter Avenue. This is where the Vigilant Guard is performing the exercise. While the exercise is meant to help bring aid to those who are hurt in this type of catastrophe, Captain Matthew Brewer, Deputy Commander of the 102 Oregon CERF-P, says it also showcases how a variety of agencies from across the northwest are working together in very different conditions.
The next step for those involved in Vigilant Guard 18 is the teardown. They have just one more day left in Great Falls and part of this exercise is to see how quickly and easily it is to break down equipment to take it back to their home base.
An exercise is soon coming to town to help prepare for emergency scenarios.
Vigilant Guard 18 will take place this Friday through Wednesday. It involves several organizations throughout the state, including the National Weather Service, Malmstorm Air Force Base and Great Falls Fire and Rescue.
This year's exercise will include a fake earthquake, which leads to flooding here in Montana.
"They are going to have some things here that happen, scenario-based stuff, that will task the state and the federal government to give us a hand when we need it," said Great Falls Fire Rescue Chief Steve Hester.
Hester adds that there will be an increase in military presence and to not be alarmed.
He also asks that you do not call dispatch about the exercise, because they are already very busy.