Emergency Workers Drill at Fort Stewart - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/27/06

Emergency Workers Drill at Fort Stewart

Spc. David Collins added to the effect with his acting and horror movie makeup. Spc. David Collins added to the effect with his acting and horror movie makeup.

Police, fire and ambulance crews are the people we count on when things get rough. But there could be some unusual challenges for those who serve Fort Stewart, and today they put their training to the test to make sure everyone is prepared for the worst.

The lights and sirens of the drill would have been enough to get anyone excited. Spc. David Collins added to that with his acting and horror movie makeup.

"I'm a left leg amputee," he said. "They're going to come treat my leg and I'll spray blood on them."

For the drill, organizers faked a bus colliding with a truck carrying chlorine gas. Firefighters and EMTs spent an hour or so responding to the wreck and treating a dozen or so wounded and contaminated.

Each member of each team has to know their job and more. The firefighters have to have enough medical training to safely carry the wounded over to the EMTs so they don't get into the contaminated area.

They'd use their hoses to wash off chlorine or anything worse.

After missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Fort Stewart's Third Infantry has made enemies in the war on terrorism. "It's quite feasible that this area could be attacked by terrorists using chemical or a dirty bomb, so this is very relevant to this area," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Moton.

In today's drill, fire and ambulance crews found a few things they could improve, like when to use the same radio channels and when to use separate ones. "We'd like to find things we need to work on in an exercise instead of the real event," noted Asst. Chief Joseph Hightower of the Fort Stewart Fire Department.

To Spc. Collins and the others, a morning of pretend is worth it if it keeps everyone safe.

Fort Stewart's Winn Army Hospital holds two drills a year as part of its national accreditation.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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