First responders train for disasters - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

First responders train for disasters

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May 18, 2004

Valdosta - The blood and moans may be staged, but the emergency response is real. "We want to know how we would react to something like this," said Lt. Brian Childress.

First responders in Lowndes County are being tested on how well they can handle a mass casualty incident. A bus simulates a plane involved in some sort of explosion, and inside are 15 passengers needing immediate medical attention. "We started removing the victims from the plane and started triaging them to see what kind of medical attention they need," said Ken Carter, Lowndes County Firefighter.

Some have broken bones, some critical injuries, and some are dead on arrival. "We can spend all the time in the world in the classroom talking about it but until we actually get out in the field and get our hands on what we're doing, that's the best you can get," said Carter.

The agencies have to use their combined resources to save lives. "It tests how law enforcement talks to fire, how fire talks to EMS, how EMS talks to local agencies like the Red Cross," said Childress.

First responders say this training is as close to the real thing as it gets. "The more of these we do, the smoother your real life scenario will be," said Carter.

So if a mass disaster strikes, the skills learned today will put these men and women ahead of the game.

posted at 3:20 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com