Responders Learn Skills In Emergency Drill


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- Saturday, participants had blood and bruises, but it was just make-up and all apart of a mock scenario for first responders to practice what to do in an emergency situation.

The Burlington North Santa Fe corporation railway company hosted this exercise in order to make responders feel more prepared.

Three years ago, on August 11, 2010, a Silver Lake man died after driving a Shawnee County Public Works truck and colliding with a Union Pacific Train near I-70 and Northwest Macvicar.

And Saturday, multiple agencies held an emergency drill to practice handling rail-car incidents, much like the one in 2010.

"Exercise in progress," says an emergency responder on his walkie-talkie.

First and emergency responders from Shawnee County, American Medical Response, and the 190th Air Refueling wing participated in the exercise; from assisting actors with mock injuries, to transporting them on stretchers, participants responded as if it were an actual rail-car accident .

"When you put it into life in a real life situation, that's what we are trying to simulate here, to make it as real time as possible," said Topeka Fire Marshall, Greg Moody.

"You know, we are given instructions, we are supposed to do certain things so that the emergency responders, so that the actual responders can act how they actually would in an emergency," said volunteer, Jennifer Smith, whose face was covered in make-up to look like gushing blood.

Participants say they learn important skills from drills like this and they hope to better their response if a situation like this were ever to occur.

"It's just something we have to be prepared for," said Dusty Nichols from Emergency Management.


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