October 24, 2022
Media Contact: Nancy Bell

Rocky Mount, Va. – An emergency training exercise will be held at the Franklin County Health Department,
365 Pell Avenue, in Rocky Mount on Wednesday, October 26 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. While the training is
designed to resemble a real emergency with area emergency agencies participating in the drill, the public is
advised the sounds of sirens, shouting or shots are strictly part of the simulation to test agency crisis plans.

“This is going to be a very realistic exercise,” said Jeanette Losee, Public Health Emergency Coordinator with
West Piedmont Health District. Emergency teams will practice treating injuries utilizing manikins. They will
also use gurneys to transport the manikins as they loaded them into on-site ambulances. While shots
resembling actual gunfire may be heard coming from inside the health department, the public should be aware
that “blanks” are being used as part of the simulation and no projectiles will be involved.

The training will be conducted in partnership with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Rocky Mount Police,
Rocky Mount Fire, Franklin County Department of Public Safety and the Virginia Department of Health.
Members of the Smith Mountain Lake Pistol Shooting Association also take part in the activity.

“With the increasing number of life-threatening incidents taking place in so many communities, preparedness
for unexpected and potentially harmful events is vital. This activity will bring a group of our community
partners together to test our crisis plans, especially as we look to protect our residents, clients and staff and
effectively address those threats which could occur within our own localities,” Losee noted.

Due to the number of emergency vehicles expected at the Franklin County Health Department between 4:30
and 6 p.m., the public is asked to avoid this area to eliminate congestion.

For more information and to request news media access, contact Nancy Bell, population health manager, at or (540) 493-0477.