Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Police Officers Ambushed, Deadly Tick-Borne Illness

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Police Officers Ambushed, Deadly Tick-Borne Illness

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for May 3, 2017: A manhunt is underway following the shooting of two Chicago police officers on Tuesday night, a suicide bombing attack on a NATO convoy kills eight civilians, experts warn that the threat of the tick-born Powassan virus is increasing, NGO volunteers turn out in large numbers to assist West Plains, Missouri flood victims, Merrillville, Indiana set to conduct unprecedented and large-scale disaster training exercise, classes resume at UT-Austin as students struggle to deal with Monday's stabbing attack, a gunman opened fire on emergency responders treating gunshot victim in Dallas, and three counties in Indiana made disaster declarations amid rising floodwaters and flash flood damage.

  1. A manhunt is underway after two Chicago police officers were shot by rival gangs during an ambush on Tuesday night and police are questioning three people of interest in relation to the shooting. In a covert vehicle, officers came upon a rival gang street battle and were then targeted by both the opposing gangs. One officer suffered a shot gun blast to the back, while the other officer was shot in the arm with what authorities believe were high powered weapons.
  2. Experts are cautioning individuals about a tick-borne virus that may be increasing in the United States. The Powassan virus is a rare disease that is caused by infected ticks primarily found in the Great Lakes region and the northeastern United States. The disease can be contracted by humans when they are bit by an infected tick and symptoms include non-specific flu-like muscle aches and pains, fever, and a headache. Health officials warn that prevention is the best treatment since everyone is at risk and there are no vaccines and no treatments for the virus.
  3. Eight civilians are dead and more than 20 others were wounded after a suicide bomber targeted a NATO armored convoy near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan during the busy morning rush hour on Wednesday. The attack comes just days after allegedly credible intelligence warned of an imminent attack against NATO forces. Reports indicate that the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing. 
  4. Over 300 volunteers have donated their time in West Plains, Missouri in the wake of the recent flooding disaster that impacted the city. The city received nearly ten inches of rain in just about six hours on Saturday, causing Howell Creek to reach unprecedented levels, leading to 70 water rescues and damaging and destroying many of the cities homes and businesses. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) including Operation BBQ Relief, Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief, and the Red Cross have been providing shelters and meals, assisting with debris clean up, helping homeowners restore damaged property, and staffing a donation collection and distribution center in the days following the flooding.
  5. A rare opportunity to conduct a large scale life-like disaster response training is set to take place in Merrillville, Indiana beginning on Saturday. The demolition of an area hotel provides the ideal setting for a simulated building collapse from a tornado, one of the areas most prevalent natural disaster threats. The massive training exercise will include emergency responders from three states and various military units, including the U.S. Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force. Training activities will be conducted during daytime and nighttime hours, last approximately one week, and conclude on May 12.
  6. Classes have resumed at the University of Texas-Austin (UT) after a violent stabbing attack on Monday afternoon left one student dead and three others wounded. Police were able to quickly apprehend the individual responsible for the attack, another UT student, Kendrex White, whom police believe suffers from mental health issues. Police identified the student who died as Harrison Brown, a freshman who had graduated in 2016 from the Graham Independent School District (GHS) in Texas.
  7. On Monday, a gunman opened fire on emergency responders who were in the street treating the victim of gunshot wound in Dallas, Texas, striking a paramedic. The Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedic identified as William An, was shot and critically injured during the incident and police initiated a lock down of the area while searching for the suspect. After an hours long search, authorities located the alleged gunman and another individual inside a home using a search robot, both individuals were deceased.
  8. Three counties in Indiana have made disaster declarations following nearly 13 inches of rain in some areas that caused destructive large-scale flash-flooding throughout the counties over the weekend. Williamson, Jackson, and Franklin counties made formal disaster declarations due to continued rising waters and amid the threat of additional rain likely to impact the area in the coming days. The floodwaters covered and caused substantial damage to roads, closing them or restricting access, flooded neighborhoods, and forced some people to evacuate their homes due to high water levels.

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.