Not your average canteen drill

Santa Barbara Corps trains with police department

By Kim Selman – 

SBdrills3When emergency strikes, it’s crucial to respond quickly and efficiently, which is exactly why the Santa Barbara Police Department now has The Salvation Army of Santa Barbara on speed dial.

In a day of training exercises on April 24, the Santa Barbara Police Department invited several key community groups and nonprofits to learn how each entity can collaborate and better work together should a disaster or emergency situation arise.

The Salvation Army of Santa Barbara brought its Emergency Disaster Services Canteen, which, in a mock hostage situation, was transformed into an emergency command center for the police officers as they ran through their emergency response training.

During the hostage training exercise, Santa Barbara Corps’ staff including Major Philip Smith; Adam Poe, resident manager of Hospitality House; and Andrew Triplett, program support for Hospitality House, ran a tented area with water, coffee and snacks for police officers engaged in the drill.

“The long term goal is for when we get activated [for an emergency situation] to give a courtesy call to The Salvation Army to be part of our operation,” Police Officer Craig Burleigh said of the day of training. “Both agencies have a common goal to help our citizens in Santa Barbara.”

A question and answer session also allowed The Salvation Army of Santa Barbara and its Hospitality House to explain the expansive services available, including a two-year transitional housing program, counseling, vocational courses, homeless outreach and access to county mental health, medical and social services.

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