Tonini Praises Guard Storm Response

by Rick Howlett on March 9, 2009

A legislative committee in Frankfort has been briefed on the Kentucky National Guard’s response to this winter’s deadly ice storm. Adjutant General Edward Tonini says disaster communications must be improved, even if it means placing satellite phones in every county.

“I think that would be a prudent thing. We’re talking about 120 of them,” Tonini said. “You know, the subscription is actually the high cost element of that, although the instruments themselves are fairly costly. But if you have no ability to communicate, that can be the sole means of saying, hey, we need help.”

Tonini says he’s very proud of his soldiers’ response to the emergency. At the height of the clean-up, 4,200 troops were in the field, knocking on doors, rescuing people, handing out emergency food supplies and clearing roads and debris.

Tonini says at least 70 Guard personnel were injured during the clean up. Four suffered serious injuries, including one with a broken hip.

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