On Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 9 a.m., members from several emergency response agencies, along with the Logan Memorial Hospital, will be having a “mock emergency drill” to help better prepare these agencies that would have to work together in the case of an actual large scale emergency situation.
Terry Cole, Assistant Director for Emergency Management, told the Logan County Fiscal Court on Tuesday, Aug. 12, the drill would involve the local hospital, the coroner’s office, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), local fire departments, first responders and police agencies. He didn’t want to tell many details because if the drill is to be realistic for agencies, they don’t know what they will be facing.
A mock disaster drill has been held in Logan County before. The importance of such a drill cannot be measured or known unless an actual disaster occurs and the many assisting agencies are called out together for help.
During a past drill a disaster scenario was played out involving a mock earthquake that caused enough damage the county was cut off from all outside help. Emergency agencies including the emergency communications center, law enforcement, fire departments, hospital, emergency management, media, EMS and a host of volunteers participated in the drill. A school bus was turned over at the county fair grounds with volunteers pretending to be injured as well as life-sized plastic dummies which were inside the bus. The mock victims were transported to Logan Memorial Hospital whose staff set up a portable triage unit in the parking lot for the overflow in victims. The drill on Sept. 17 is not expected to be as big.
The exercise then and now is held to help aid emergency agencies working together under the stress of a disaster and to also realize some of the issues that may arise during such an event which the services can learn from.
Mock emergency drills are designed to help an organization test a hypothetical situation, such as a natural or man-made disaster, and evaluate the groups ability to cooperate and work together, as well as test their readiness to respond.
“We like to set up these drills not only to help emergency services, but to help the community by being better prepared in case they need us,” said Cole.