Exercise Prepares Responders For The Worst

Thursday, April 17th 2008, 12:17 pm
By: News On 6

There was a disaster in Tulsa on Thursday, but it was only a drill.  The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports a group of emergency responders were training for a crisis.

It was part of a disaster management class at OU-Tulsa which got some help from high school students to make the drill seem more realistic.  It was the kind of scene that could turn stomachs and the kind of disaster where emergency responders are needed most.

Some Jenks drama students dressed up and made up o look like the wounded and dead.

"And, our teacher asked us if we would like to be covered in fake blood and pretend to die," said Jenks student Laura Dossett.

While some are new to the role, others have been there before.

 "At Jenks West, I did the airplane crash," said Jenks student Bliss Brown.

This time the scenario was a concert interrupted by an explosion and potentially hazardous smoke.

The first responders had to assess the situation, call for more help and decide who needed treatment first.

"Any disaster, any mass casualty event, the first moments are like that, a disaster," said Emergency Response Coordinator Kelly Deal.

The responders read the injuries from cards on each of the victims and decide what to do.

"It's a whole lot different experience and environment and it's been good, very helpful," said St. Francis nurse Sue Watkins.

When it was done, several problems were noted that can be corrected.

"I think, overall, as a learning experience it went well," said incident commander Steve Ng.

Before the drill, OU-Tulsa sent out letters to their neighbors, near 41st and Yale, warning them they might hear an explosion and see smoke, but not to worry.