Lauderdale County Emergency Responders Participate In Disaster Drill
FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – When an emergency strikes, first responders must be prepared to act quickly.
Monday, crews from across Lauderdale County practiced for an emergency situation during a disaster drill.
For this exercise, crews responded to the University of North Alabama campus, as if a tornado just touched down.
When the emergency call comes in, responders rush onto campus.
It’s part of a training exercise, but these EMT’s get a real-life lesson in treating patients under pressure.
R.J. O’Connell played one of the victims in this disaster drill. He portrayed a 70-year-old custodian who suffered chest pain when the tornado ripped through the heart of campus. “They couldn`t tend to me right away, but when they did get to me, they did good. They did save my life which I`m very thankful for,” said O’Connell about his role in the exercise.
For another participant, this simulated tornado hits close to home.
“I lived through the Phil Campbell tornado and I don`t think it was really expected so I think it`s good for everyone to see what it’s like,” said participant Josh Cavender.
It’s not just first responders taking notes from this simulated tornado scenario. After crews clear the scene, these victims were taken by bus to three hospitals throughout the Shoals to extend this exercise to include others affected during a disaster.
“For instance, this week, we have a full load of patients and being able to handle something like this, in addition to that can stress our capacity a little bit, so we want to be prepared for it,” said Kyle Buchanan, Helen Keller Hospital VP of Operations.
The emergency responders got evaluated during the drill. The Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency director hopes these crews can incorporate what they learned during the drill, into their life-saving routines during a real emergency.