Cincinnati prepares for the worst with Mass Casualty Drill


(FOX19) - A Mass Casualty Drill was held on Wednesday to prepare Greater Cincinnati for the worst. The drill is receiving national attention due to its impressive size.

The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services operation in Greater Cincinnati participated in the Hamilton County Mass Casualty Incident Response Drill.

The drill, held at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds, included 40 fire departments, 15 hospitals and 300 volunteers. Included in the drill was a simulated explosion with hurt and dying 'victims', a multi-car accident and more.

"I have a penetrating chest wound, and I'm conscious and disoriented," explained volunteer victim Betty Lee.

"It was overload for local hospitals, but there were walking wounded, and I think they did a god job taking care of everyone," said Retired Fire Chief John Horton.

Instructors made the drill as realistic as possible, so emergency crews know how to respond should the worst happen.

Crews covered everything from setting up a triage center, to bringing in an emergency helicopter and even holding a press conference.

"In light of the events last month in Boston, it's important that agencies practice their response to a mass casualty incident," explains Captain Tim Sheehan, who oversees The Salvation Army EDS operations in Cincinnati. "Exercises like this are an important part of our readiness. As well, it's a great opportunity to ensure that our disaster volunteers are appropriately trained and our EDS equipment fully functional."

Officials say communication is key during an emergency. Hamilton County Emergency Management even turned to social media during the exercise, tweeting updates throughout the morning.

All of the agencies involved plan to meet and discuss how the drill went and what needs to be improved.

Most of the volunteers came from Glen Este High School.

For more information about The Salvation Army's programs and operations in Cincinnati, visit the Salvation Army's website.

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