City officials participated in a Local Mass Fatality Table Top Exercise on Tuesday which gave them an opportunity to work through their plan if a situation were to occur.

Coastal Bend Council of Governments (CBCOG) Robert Thomas said the class was brought in by Jim Wells County and the City of Alice and was conducted at the Public Safety Training Center.

The GBCOG was awarded a grant to develop mass fatality management planning for the eleven counties in the Coastal Bend and asked to design, conduct and evaluate regional tabletop exercises that would test the newly created planning documents.

"This is to exercise the new plan so we can be better prepared," Thomas said. "Different agencies are invited to participate so we can improve our plan."

The three-hour exercise consisted of teams discussing what they would do in a given scenario. Officials included county officials, medical examiners, emergency management, fire, American Red Cross and other public health officials.

Discussion of agencies and organizations that would be involved were chosen by the groups and specifics of the scenario were tested to see how it might affect the construct of the response.

Thomas said the exercise will lead into a full-scale exercise that will be in Corpus Christi in May.

Fire Chief Van Nest said the scenario gives officials a chance to work through the plan and to make improvements.

"This makes everyone aware there is a plan. If something tragic were to happen, we'd be more organized," Van Nest said.