City officials preparing for attack on electrical grid

Independent Recorder ▷

by Brittany Ford, FOX 11 News

Operation Dark Sky, prepares emergency personnel for what could be a large-scale power outage, May 15, 2018. (WLUK)

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WLUK) — Technology continues to change the world we live in.

Grand Chute Fire Chief Tim Bantes says it has also changed the type of emergencies that call out first responders.

“When you talk about cyber attacks and cyber attacks on our infrastructure, 15 to 20 years ago you never talked about it. Today you have to be prepared,” he said.

It’s at the Grand Chute Fire Department that they’re preparing for what would be the effects of a mass power outage. The exercise is a part of a statewide initiative involving several agencies on the local, county and state level. It’s called “Operation Dark Sky.”

“Dark Sky is a full-scale exercise; it’s really been two years in the making,” explained Capt. Joe Trovato, with the Wisconsin Army National Guard. “In terms of planning and procedures, it’s simulating both a physical and cyber threat to the state power grid.”

Trovato says the exercises range from treating injured people to handling hazmat situations.

“With these kinds of exercises, we build those relationships, so God forbid something does happen, it’s not the first time we’ve all worked together,” he said.

As a collective unit, officials say the exercise is designed to keep the community safe in the event of a disaster.

“This is very beneficial and it’s beneficial to our residents,” said Bantes.

“Work together to better serve people of Wisconsin,” Trovato told FOX 11.

Statewide tests are scheduled to continue through Thursday.