June 24, 2010 at 9:40 a.m.

Disaster Drill: Police, fire, ambulance and hospital respond to mock sniper attack in Wyoming

Disaster Drill: Police, fire, ambulance and hospital respond to mock sniper attack in Wyoming
Disaster Drill: Police, fire, ambulance and hospital respond to mock sniper attack in Wyoming

Wyoming police, fire rescue and hospital were put to the test June 12 as the public safety personnel enacted a series of mock sniper attacks at the Wyoming Elementary School. Each mass drill simulated a different scenario ranging from minor injuries, to multiple serious injuries and fatalities. Blank bullets, mock victims and use of the S.W.A.T. team made the disaster as realistic as possible. Also participating in the drill were Lakes Area and North Branch police, the Chisago County Sheriff's Department and North Ambulance Service,

In response to the drill, Fairview Lakes Medical Center issued an all call Orange (Disaster) Alert to staff and set up a hospital incident command center. Throughout the morning, hospital staff managed mock disaster "patients" from a temporary triage area while continuing to care for real patients in the emergency department.

"We were pleased to be able to partner with the local law enforcement, fire and ambulance crews in carrying out this mock disaster," said Marianne Anderson, R.N., who helped plan and coordinate the drill. "We will use what we learned to enhance our disaster response in the future."

"The public safety community routinely conducts simulated casualty drills to identify and bridge potential gaps in our response plans," says Wyoming Chief of Police Paul Hoppe. "While we hope such an event will never occur, we must take advantage of drills like this one to plan, implement and test our readiness."


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