County Fire Department to team with Rinconada to prepare for real emergencies

Don’t be alarmed next week if you happen to see emergency vehicles and firefighters around the Rinconada Water Treatment Plant.
It may look like a disaster in the making, but it’s a carefully planned exercise by the Santa Clara County Fire Department to prepare its teams to conduct search and rescue and extractions within an urban environment, or in this case, around water basins, ozone contractors and flocculation structures currently under construction as part of the water treatment plant’s Reliability Improvement Project.
“These facilities will provide unique environments for the trainees that they don’t normally train in,” Rinconada Water Treatment Plant Supervisor Steve Twitchell said.
The two-day exercise that kicks off June 19 will have firefighters responding to three different scenarios throughout the facility.
United States Army personnel plan out emergency scenarios during a 2013 training exercise at the Rinconada Water Treatment Plant.

Rinconada has served as a training location for emergency responders and the military in the past, most recently in 2013 when the United States Army conducted a series of real-life scenarios.

The contractor on the Reliability project, Balfour Beatty, enthusiastically cooperated by sharing access to the facilities under construction as the backdrop for the training. And despite the additional activity at the treatment plant, Twitchell said Rinconada’s day-to-day operations would feel no impact.
All activities will take place within the treatment plant.

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