Emergency crews polish up skills in Forks
Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News
During a Friday afternoon mass casualty drill, with mock victims pretending to be dead or injured, Clallam County firefighters hurry to open the driver’s side door to extract fake victims from a van that, in the scenario, had been involved in a three-vehicle wreck in Forks. Emergency agencies from across Clallam County, as well as the Sheriff’s Office and Forks Community Hospital, participated in the drill held at the Swanson Trucking yard in Forks.
By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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“It went really well,” said Rebecca Wilson, ambulance supervisor with Forks Ambulance, the ambulance service for Forks Community Hospital, after Friday afternoon's mock emergency.
“I'm glad we did it,” she said.
The drill simulated 13 victims being involved in a three-vehicle wreck involving a log truck, a crew-cab pickup truck and a minivan, Wilson said.
“It's not a question of if we're going to have a mass casualty [emergency]; it's when and how well-trained we'll be,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the drill lasted from about 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with those involved ending the simulations at Forks Community Hospital.
Emergency crews from Clallam County Fire District Nos. 1 and 5, law enforcement from the Forks Police Department and Clallam County Sheriff's Office, and staff from Forks Community Hospital all participated, Wilson said.
Emergency crews simulated removing the mock victims from the vehicles using Jaws of Life, Wilson said, and dealing with simulated fuel released from the vehicles.
The vehicles involved were donated by local businesses, Wilson said, and mangled in the Swanson Trucking truck yard, the beginning location of the exercise, with the help of a forklift, Wilson said.
The minivan's roof, for example, was crushed by dropping a concrete barrier onto it, she added.
Wilson said she would like to see such a drill happen once a year and involve more emergency and law enforcement agencies.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: August 17. 2013 5:39PM