Disaster Drill Prepares Responders

By Melissa Crash

Published 08/02 2014 04:52PM

Updated 08/02 2014 11:43PM

Preparation is crucial when it comes to an emergency, and local officials are taking the initiative to learn what to do in a disaster.

Driving past the Sullivan County Fairgrounds, you might have thought a horrible accident had occurred. Which is exactly what responders were training for.

Ambulances, fire trucks, and police surrounded the hazardous emergency drill.

Michael Gamble, the EMS Medical Director for Sullivan County said, "We want to have the experience of the simulated disaster, so that if we have a real disaster then the EMS system will be ready to take care of the local people."

The scenario was, a tanker truck had run into a basketball arena and exploded, causing a building to collapse, a chemical spill, and leaving many victims in danger.

John Shepard, with the Air National Guard said, "We have to not only figure out how to control and contain, but then to also help those who are victims in the incident."

Officials are placing participants in certain categories right behind me based on their injuries, just to make sure local responders know what to do in every situation.

Emergency responders practiced how to handle different outcomes. Victoria Scaggs, a mock victim in the exercise says even though this disaster is a drill, you never know when something could strike home. Having nurses and officials practice, makes her feel safe.

"The nurses that are like training to do this and the disaster people, it gives them a good idea on how to set up and prepare," said Scaggs.

Indiana life-line was also on location, to prepare responders for the worst.

"Help integrate not only county resources and local resources together, whether you're talking about the fire department, the police department, the hospital groups into a bigger response," said Shepard.

By participating in today's exercise, responders say they're now ready in case the time ever comes for the real thing.

Chemical spills aren't the only disaster drill that responders are training for.

Earthquakes, flooding, and bomb related drills are also practiced to make sure local officials are ready for every kind of disaster situation.

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