By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
Emergency Management Director Kevin White updated the Tucker County Commission during the Commission’s regular session on the progress of his department which included details of an upcoming interdepartmental Mass Casualty Training.
“We have a MCI going on,” White said. “A Mass Casualty Incident. It is going to be based on a school bus accident.”
According to White, the school bus that will be used in the training was donated by the Tucker County School Board. “We did find a school bus,” White said. “The School Board got us a bus. They had one, I guess, that had a catastrophic engine failure several years ago. Had been sitting in a lot somewhere else where they had taken it to get repaired. They couldn’t do anything with it, so I told them I don’t need a motor. We just need the body, the wheels, the chassis. Stuff like that. They agreed to get it towed there. I told them we’d pay for the tow bill.”
At the request of Tucker County Commissioner Mike Rosenau, White explained what a Mass Casualty Event is. “It basically is a response to where we have more patients than we have capability,” White said. “And then, you have to categorize them. So, if you have three people, it can be a mass casualty because you have three people involved. Mass casualty for us, in this situation, we’re probably going to try to get 10 people involved as victims.”
White said the training would involve several different entities. “We’re going to bring all our local resources together: fire, law, EMS, 911,” White said. “We’re writing the script right now to say that we got these victims, we’ve got persons trapped.”
White said the training had to include a hazardous material component. “We have to have a hazardous material component in it,” White said. “So, it will basically be a diesel spill into a stream, something like that. Because then, our LEPC can sponsor it with their funds to help provide a meal or something like that. They get those funds given to them from the state every year, like $3500, as long as they play by our rules, which ours does. We play by the right rules.”
White said the scenario for the training will be a bus accident involving another vehicle. “We’ll have a bus accident involving another vehicle, probably. We’ll have the bus driver, five, six, eight passengers being kids and we are going to go through the process of removing them, triaging them, setting up transportation for them. Things like that.”
“So, it’s a great thing,” Rosenau said. “So before, God forbid anything ever happens, we’ve already gone through the steps in training to work out the bugs, per se. So, I applaud you all.”
“We do this once a year at least,” White said. “Last year we did a Water Movement Class for all the fire departments, EMS, everybody come together and we set up on Thomas. and we moved tankers and thousands and thousands of gallons of water so that if we ever had a large fire – say Front Street, Thomas, God forbid it ever happened, we’re going to need more water than we can possibly get. So, we did that. The year before we did, I think a swift water type deal and ice. Somebody falls through the ice. That type of stuff. We do these things regularly. Sometimes we include Health Med in on them. But, its for all our Emergency Services to come together for a half a day and we train together so we know what equipment and what we can provide. That way we all are on the same page as a team when it comes to that. God forbid its needed, but if its needed, we got it.”
White said the training date is set for August 5. “We’ll have that I think its August 5 is that date that we’ll have that and invite everybody.” White informed the Commission that the training will be held at Tucker County High School.