Disaster Drill in Marcus
Thursday, September 2, 2010
story and photos by Nancy Hohbach, Correspondent
The Marcus Fire Department sponsored a community-wide Fire and Disaster Drill at the Marcus school on Saturday August 28.
Going through the motions -
On Saturday Aug. 28, a disaster drill was held at the Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn High School by the Cherokee County Emergency Management team, along with volunteers and first responders participating in the exercise, which featured a mock explosion at the school. If there had been a real explosion involving chemicals, the firemen would actually have water running to wash chemicals off the body. On this Saturday, they only went through the motions, but they did it to all as they walked around with the hose.
Makeup needed -
Over 20 people prepared for their parts in this disaster drill, which included make-up for the "victims" of the accident to make it look more realistic. Aimee Barritt, former head of Cherokee County Emergency Management,, aided in these preparations for the drill. Note the bloody looking "skin" on the table.
Realistic exercise -
This young girl, an MMC High School student, was painted up to look as though she had received serious injuries from the fake explosion, so that firefighters could use their training to react in a positive manner to take care of the injured. This took much preparation before the drill began.
Taking roll call -
Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn Superintendent Jan Brandhorst was busy taking roll call to make sure every student was out of the high school building Saturday morning as part of the disaster drill sponsored by the Marcus Fire Department.
Marcus disaster drill -
Joanne Petersen, school nurse, helps to take charge of students as firemen get the students' names and learn what symptoms and injuries they will be dealing with. Other firemen get busy taking on their responsibilities. The HAZMAT team wanted this to be as realistic as possible in order to train those who will be dealing with such real disaster situations.
Taking vitals -
Local firefighters, along with school nurse Joanne Petersen, were busy getting numbers on blood pressure and heart beats after role-playing an explosion in the school lab. A great deal of planning among the Marcus Fire Department, Remsen and Oyens Fire Departments, the Cherokee Regional Medical Center, and the Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) team from Sioux City went into effort Saturday morning to plan this county-wide disaster drill exercise.
Ready to transport -
Marcus firemen,left to right, Jeff Gross, Greg Carver and Denny Specht, were comforting as they prepared this "victim" for transporting to the Cherokee Regional Medical Center.
Lending a hand -
Neighboring fire departments participated in the drill Saturday morning such as the Remsen and Oyens Fire Departments assisted in getting the patients ready to take to a hospital.Those in white vests were from Remsen.
Cherokee ambulance team -
After one Marcus ambulance left for the Cherokee Regional Medical Center, the Cherokee ambulance arrived to take another of the more serious injured patients. They were transported after having been washed off to get the chemicals off their skin (much done in acting out the role each participant played). Everyone was quite serious about their roles as this was a training exercise for all involved.
Center of care -
Several Cherokee Regional Medical Center staff members were busy conferring about the situation at hand to make sure all "patients" were properly getting taken care of. Everyone was labeled as to their role in the situation. This is a means of education to make sure everyone is prepared to handle the emergency if it really did happen.
Checking name and vitals
After arriving at the Cherokee Regional Medical Center, one "patient" is examined by Gary Rupp (on the right), with Robert Shontz looking on. The hospital had two bays set up in the ambulance garage for washing chemicals off before "patients" entered the hospital for further examination.