Chilton County EMA organizes full-scale simulation

Fire fighters and paramedics tend to a volunteer during an emergency simulation. (Photo by Anthony Richards/Advertiser)

Fire fighters and paramedics tend to a volunteer during an emergency simulation. (Photos by Anthony Richards/Advertiser)

Rescue and law enforcement departments throughout Chilton County came together on Sept. 13 for a full-scale emergency drill.

“It is good for the community to know that we are trying to figure out the best ways to confront situations,” Chilton County EMA Director Derrick Wright said. “We’re out here training, learning and adapting.”

The drill was a simulation of a mass incident that involved multiple injuries that in some cases required evacuation for further medical treatment.

The simulation took place in a field off of County Road 43 in Clanton with the second half taking place at St. Vincent’s Hospital, which is scheduled to open with a ribbon cutting on Sept. 30.

“The goal of a drill like this is to give our staff the feel of what a real emergency would be like,” said Suzannah Campbell, administrator with St. Vincent’s. “The fact that we got to do this before we open makes it even more valuable for us.”

A major aspect of the drill was to make each department aware of the resources and various avenues for assistance that are at their disposable.

School busses and the county transit system were also used during the drill as means of transport.

Paramedics wheel a simulated victim to a helicopter for transport to St. Vincent’s Hospital.

Paramedics wheel a simulated victim to a helicopter for transport to St. Vincent’s Hospital.

“We have a lot of new faces in fire and rescue as well as myself in emergency management,” Wright said. “It is extremely important for each department to know the other resources available to them. That way they’ll know who to call.”

Trainings on this grand a scale with nearly every emergency department involved do not take place regularly.

According to Wright, it had been about eight years since this type of situational training had taken place.

Several volunteers took part in the simulation as wounded or distressed civilians.

“Our actors did extremely well and they definitely added to the situation,” Wright said.

Wright is not sure when the next situational drill will take place, but believes that any time a simulation takes place, it can only help the combined efficiency when a real life problem does occur.

“We want to make sure that we’re prepared to take care of the patients in any emergency,” Campbell said.

 

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