Multiple emergency response departments participate in disaster training

Published: Aug. 20, 2022 at 7:46 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Saturday August 20, a handful of different emergency response departments in Natrona County participated in a full scale emergency disaster drill near the Natrona County International Airport (NCIA). This training simulated an airplane crash and even had “victims”, who were supplied by Banner Health, act out different injuries which responding units had to diagnose and treat.

“This really brings in all the different players that would be involved if we did have a mass casualty incident. Today’s example was through an airplane crash so all of our local partner agencies came into play as far as transporting victims to the hospital, putting the fire out with the airplane crash, and all the other things that need to be filled in on a large scale disaster such as this one,” said Kiera Grogan, the Public Information Officer for the Natrona County Sheriffs Office.

Almost 10 different agencies were involved in the training which is required for the departments every three years. Planning for the disaster is started three months in advance and when it comes to the day of the training the departments want everything to go as planned so very few curveballs, if any, are thrown into the exercise.

“We want to give a realistic event but this is practice and you practice how you play, and so we don’t want to make firefighters deceased on scene or they accidentally get hurt or injured. We’re really here to work together and we just try not to throw too many curveballs in there,” said NCIA Director of Operations and Public Safety Dan Kittinger.

Even with all the planning that goes on behind the scenes though, none of the first responders who are participating know what to expect when they are called to the drill. This means that they are having to think on their feet and respond to whatever disaster is occurring and hone their emergency response skills.

“It’s very impromptu, and a lot of the victims, we actually give them some scripts of what their wounds are and how they’re supposed to act and they do a really fantastic job of playing that out for us,” said Dan.

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