Disaster drills prepare law enforcement for the unthinkable

HOUGHTON — How do emergency response crews know what to do during a disaster? ABC 10’s Keweenaw Bureau Reporter Rick Allen reports – with training days like this one.

You never expect it to happen, until it does. Disaster drills, like the one held on the campus of Michigan Tech, help prepare law enforcement and first responders in the event that the unthinkable does happen.

In this scenario, an active shooter is loose on campus. This is the fourth year that a drill like this has been held.

Region 8 Health Care Coalition Coordinator John Stone said, “Every time we’ve done this, we’ve improved the level of sophistication of our incident and the emergency response agencies that have participated have all stepped up their game and I see the progression of improvement in their capabilities.”

This Houghton County Disaster Control unit can help treat up to 200 victims in a situation like this, far more than the usual five from a standard ambulance. In a mass casualty scenario like this drill, where there are up to 45 victims with five fatalities, that unit can help save lives.

It’s just one of the many benefits of holding disaster drills.

Stone said, “When we do an exercise, we collect lessons learned, as a result of that, and that comes back into training and more equipment purchases and things that improve our capabilities all around.”

After the drill, the teams get together to talk about what they learned and how they can better respond if they are needed for real.

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Andrew Lorinser
Andrew@ABC10UP.com Andrew is the interactive media manager at ABC 10 / CW 5. Learn More about ABC 10 / CW 5 Staff