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Corrections officers conducting drills at Bland Correctional Center
Agency News

VADOC, Partner Agencies Complete Full-Scale Emergency Exercise at Bland Correctional Center

May 29, 2024

The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC), several state and local law enforcement agencies, and first responder partners demonstrated excellent collaboration in the completion of a full-scale emergency exercise Wednesday, May 29 at Bland Correctional Center.

The exercise was designed to evaluate the VADOC’s Emergency Operations Plan and ensure the Department and partner agencies can effectively respond during critical incidents.

Emergency situations involved in the exercise included a large inmate disturbance involving mass-injuries and casualties, a hostage situation, an intentional fire set on facility property, the discovery of an improvised explosive device, and a multi-inmate escape.

Agencies participating in the exercise with the VADOC included: Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Virginia Department of Transportation, Bland County Sheriff’s Office, Giles County Sheriff’s Office, Bland County Fire/EMS, Giles County Fire/EMS and Wythe County Community Hospital. 

“Situations like these are a reality at our facilities and our corrections team and emergency response partners need to be prepared,” said VADOC Director Chad Dotson. “This exercise demonstrated our readiness and provided an opportunity to suggest any adjustments we might need to make.

“I thank our Western Region Operations team, including Regional Operations Chief Greg Holloway, Regional Administrator for Institutions Thomas Meyer, and this exercise’s lead organizer, Warden Rodney Younce (previously at Bland CC, now at River North Correctional Center),” Director Dotson continued. “I also thank all of our partners who took the time to attend today. Emergency preparedness is crucial to ensure long-term public safety in Virginia.”

The VADOC provided advance notice of the exercise to those in Bland County and Western Giles County via a news release, social media posts, and message signs along roadways in the area.

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