Full-scale disaster response exercise

On July 27 police, fire, EMS, ambulance and other responders had a chance to prepare for the worst: a bomb blast on campus, with mulitple injuries, even deaths. It was all part of a three-day training exercise organized by UA Statewide Risk Services in coordination with other area agencies.

Each participating entity was able to train on a specific area they need to learn or practice. Police practiced intelligence gathering and alert notification. Fire fighters learned about urban search and rescue. C-CERT teams got to practice triage and basic wound care. Hospitals practiced dealing with mass admissions and patient handling.

The elaborate rubble pile was built under the direction of Daniel Kobb of Anchorage. It was used to both train firefighters in urban search and rescue and as a base for the disaster exercise.

Volunteers with a wide variety of injuries, decked out with fake wounds and stage blood, were strewn throughout the scene along with rescue dummies.

UAF public information officers reponded to the scene and practiced receiving information from the incident commander and staged a mock press conference.

On July 28 an emergency command center was established; the clock was set back to one hour after the incident, and information officers and logistical support practiced emergency communications, media handling, and logistical support for the emergency responders. Everything from ordering port-a-potties to arranging auxilluary ambulances must be coordinated through the command center. A call center was establlished and statewide employees were asked to call in to simulate the flood of calls by concerned parents and others looking for information on the incident and wanting news about their loved ones.

At a hot wash on July 29 aspects of the scenario were evaluated and discussed.

Photos by Monique Musick

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