SMORT holds annual training exercise in Cullman

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Participants in the Alabama State Mortuary Operations Response Team (SMORT) annual training exercise are seen at the Cullman County Fairgrounds. (Brent McDonald)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Alabama State Mortuary Operations Response Team (SMORT) held its annual training exercise at the Cullman County Fairgrounds beginning March 20.

Cullman County EMA Specialist/Public Information Officer Brent McDonald said SMORT, organized under Alabama Department of Public Health and the Emergency Management Agency, is composed of dedicated volunteers and multiple agencies from across the state. 

“This exercise provides participants with extensive training on how to effectively respond and carry out recovery operations during mass casualty scenarios,” McDonald said. “One notable presence during the training exercise was the Alabama state chaplain team, which plays a vital role in providing spiritual and emotional support to individuals involved in these situations.”

Exercises involved various scenarios that challenge participants to apply their knowledge and expertise in a simulated high-stress environment. 

“By simulating realistic mass casualty situations, SMORT ensures that its volunteers are well prepared to handle the complexities and demands of actual disaster response and recovery operations,” McDonald said. 

Participants had the opportunity to practice vital tasks such as victim identification, proper handling of human remains and coordination with other response agencies. These hands-on exercises enable SMORT volunteers to gain practical experience and enhance their ability to work effectively in challenging situations.

Anyone interested in learning more about SMORT or volunteering opportunities can reach out to the Cullman County Emergency Management Agency at 256-739-5410.

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