CHAMPION — When it comes to being prepared, the best way to get there is to practice. Volunteers gathered at the Eagle Mine’s Humboldt Mill to practice for what they hope will never happen.
Bystanders and witnesses watched as first responders rushed to the scene. EMT’s and firefighters tended to the injured and those affected by the blast. This is what would happen if there were a mass casualty incident at the Eagle Mine’s Humboldt Mill. But today, it’s just a drill.
“The goal is obviously to never have to use this in a real–life scenario. But if a scenario does happen, we want to be prepared to respond,” said Eagle Mine Health and Safety Supervisor Dale Hittle. “We’ve seen our team have the capability to respond to similar incidents. It’s practice, it’s preparation. You can only be as good as your training elevates you to.”
Volunteers from Westwood High School applied Jelly to represent blood, each depicting a certain injury.
“I was next the blast, so I got a mangled leg, and I was all sweaty, pale and gross, and I was confused,” said volunteer Aubrie Magnuson.
The volunteers were then staged to identify the severity of their injuries. They were involved in an explosion at the mill, and needed care from first responders. Although they are always careful, employees at the mill are prone to possible situations like this.
“We act with a lot of machinery and equipment that has potential to be dangerous if we are not in tune with the detail associated with it. With that being the case, we want to be equipped at all times to be able to respond to any possible scenario that we could have out here,” said Hittle.
Eagle Mine has similar monthly trainings that can help employees be prepared for the worst of situations.
“Trainings like this and trainings we have on a monthly basis give us some good preparation so in the event that a scenario does take place, we’re able to respond,” he said.
“It’s nice to have some sort of idea of what you would do if this incident happens, like where people would go, who would be here and what they have to do,” said Magnuson.
Luckily, all of the victims made it through the simulation, and the volunteers did their job. Hopefully, this is something that won’t happen here for a while.