CAMP DARBY, Italy (March 19, 2019) -- Darby Military Community Emergency Operations Center was activated March 14 when a 7.7 magnitude earthquake was simulated to test the community's ability to respond to an emergency.

Representatives from Pisa Civil Protection, medical emergency responders from 118, Pisa Fire Department representatives, and representatives from the American Consulate of Florence and the neighboring community of Collesalvetti also played a significant role in the tabletop exercise (TTX).

"The 'whole community' TTX was designed to establish a learning environment to exercise emergency actions/response plans, policies and procedures as they pertained to an all-hazard incident (the earthquake)," said Anthony Blackman, the emergency manager here. "The main focus built upon community partnerships, identifying areas where collaboration may be required to include key objectives such as planning, response, mass casualty plan and recovery."

After welcome remarks from Deputy Garrison Manager Catherine Miller, the Italian Base Commander provided a brief overview of the exercise objectives and defined the installation layout and capabilities.

"This exercise was aimed to enhance relationships and partnerships with all emergency responders, testing the emergency plan, the resources available and the existing Memorandum of Understanding, agreement and instructions, as well as the competencies of the chain of command," said Col. Renato Vaira.

According to Engineer Luca Padroni, who is responsible for civil protection in Pisa, an inclusive exercise such as this one is absolutely necessary to test procedures and planning for an immediate mutual understanding in case of an emergency.

"We are planning an exercise in autumn featuring an airplane accident, and we will invite the Darby Military Community emergency responders considering the location of the installation within the territory," said Padroni.

Collesalvetti is probably the nearest town to the military installation and many U.S. families live in Collesalvetti jurisdiction.

"This initiative is critical to the positive resolution of any emergency situation," said City Council President Irene Visone. "It (the TTX) opened our minds to a different organization while facing emergencies. We would like to maintain a stable relationship and bring your organizational system into our agency, training our personnel in specific roles during emergencies."

Visone also expressed the need to create a working table between the nearby cities and the military post to better understand available resources and possible support even if there are not U.S. families living in the area.


The exercise, which began at 9:30 a.m., concluded at 12:30 with a renewed enthusiasm from all participants.

Darby's emergency manager deemed the exercise a success.

"At the conclusion, we were able to analyze exercise results, identify strengths to be maintained and built upon, identify potential areas for further improvement, identify lessons learned and support development of corrective actions," said Blackman.