Mass Casualty Exercise Tests Local Agencies

posted by Jim Forsyth - 

They were planned for the worst today in a massive city wide disaster drill, which took place at locations across the city, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Bexar County Emergency Management Coordinator Kyle Coleman says the scenario was a mass shooting at a high school graduation ceremony at the Freeman Coliseum.

"Today's exercise is probably the largest exercise that San Antonio, Bexar County, and STRAC have ever had," he said.

STRAC, the South Texas Regional Advisory Council, is the agency that coordinates all emergency operations for local hospitals.

In addition to law enforcement gathering at the Coliseum to deal with the active shooter, evacuating the victims and dealing with the threat, the hospitals were practicing how they would deal with a surge of critically wounded patients arriving at their emergency rooms.

And then, Coleman says the third segment of the massive exercise, which is probably the most important.

The families will meet up with the victims, and we will make notifications," he said.

Nearly 700 volunteers were on hand to portray victims, relatives, friends, to attempt to stress the system to give the first responders a good feel for the stress they would experience in a real mass casualty incident.

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