Mass Casualty Drill

By: Lindsey Ward Email
By: Lindsey Ward Email

February 3, 2007

The Fire Department, EMS and Water Rescue train individually twice a month, but Saturday morning they joined forces to create an opportunity for the three teams to work together in a stressful and potentially life-threatening circumstance.

A call for help, victims under water, an upset parent, and hazmat situation; all the ingredients of a real life emergency.

“The scenario was that there was a school or church van with people in it loading a boat into the lake at the marina. Another vehicle came along and bumped that and knocked it back into the water with people in the van,” said Water Rescue Captain, Stephen Martin.

The goal of Saturday's drill to get three different departments with different jobs, all working to save victims.

“Rescue squad was dealing with patient issues, the water rescue team was dealing with getting people out of the water and fire department takes over all command and issues with hazardous materials with oil and that sort of thing in the water,” said Martin.

Scenarios like this are planned by Lake Monticello rescue crews several times a year, but Saturday was different, you could almost say more realistic.

“Typically we try to do one in the summer time when it's a lot of activity around the water and with those its nice 80 degrees outside, everybody's comfortable and everybody's in bathing suits,” Martin said.

At the end of the mission they evaluated their performance and declared it a success.

There are around 150 volunteers that make up the three rescue departments. Of those who participated, the majority had never performed in a mass casualty drill before.

The next training is scheduled sometime this summer and will involve a high angle rope rescue.

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