Worth prepares for tornado - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Worth prepares for tornado

March 6, 2003

With dozens wounded and some already dead, the first call comes in, "a tornado has touched down off of Seabrook Drive and Jackson Circle, time out 9:20," a dispatcher says.

Quickly police, firefighters, and EMS were dispatched to this simulation, where they got hands-on training for the real thing. "I can't move my legs," one victim shouted.

The job of the first responders is to track down injured survivors and assess their needs.

"We tend to most critical patients first, non critical afterwards," Edward Bass said. 

With so much going on the patients are color-coded to figure out which triage they should be transported to.With stormy skies overhead, it helped put things in perspective for everyone involved. 

"It really gives you sense of a good training exercise because of the weather," Captain Tom Whitsett said.

The most important thing these emergency crews learned in a case where every minute is critical, communication. "Because when you check in with the incident command it puts you in stages of where to go," Whitsett said. 

"County and city fire, law enforcement working as a team to take care of disaster," EMS Director Jimmy Hudson said. 

So if the real thing happens, they'll be ready. A red cross shelter was also set up at the community center, where the health department practiced treating patients and the housing authority helped organize people left homeless by the simulated storm.