Inside the Gates: Mass casualty training
The mass casualty exercise on Wednesday at Fort Wainwright featured a scene where a city bus on the Garrison post was struck by a car. Inside the bus was 28 casualties along with two more in the car. The planning for the event took three and a half months to organize and train the role players, while coordinating with local fire, law enforcement and first responders of the North Star Borough.
"A lot of players came into play here to put this together," Fort Wainwright Fire Chief Alex H. Temporado said. "We tried to make this as realistic as possible because we wanted it to be real for our emergency responders but yet we had to keep safety in mind."
During the planning phase of the exercise, safety on the scene was a priority: Traffic was blocked so it would not interfere, notifications were made to alert the area what was happening and to all the surrounding units that the drill would effect. The community was alerted to notify that it was just an exercise.
"I think the exercise was effective, really effective," Temproado said. "It was done to kind of overwhelm the responders. We learned some things about ourselves and our patient handling. The firefighters and first responders did really good, it was very realistic. We had to deal with the snow and the ice, weather and traffic."
The exercise took place on the Garrison Installation in the middle of the road on a fairly busy road in the middle of the post.
"One thing we try to focus on, on USAG Alaska is preparedness," Community Engagement and Media Relations Chief for U.S. Army Garrison Alaska Dani O'Donnell said. "Doing these MASCAL exercises allows us to assure the safety and well being of our soldiers and their families stationed here.
The Mass Casualty exercise is done annually with a variety of scenarios to test and verify effectiveness, correct any shortfalls in response on Fort Wainwright in an effort to improve safety and protection of personnel, facilities and infrastructure.
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