Fort Drum Drill Tests Emergency Responders


It's a bad day at Fort Drum in a make-believe scene in which a transport plane with 55 soldiers on board crashes on the airfield.

"The aircraft coming in had faulty landing gear and crash-landed," said Terry Byard, Fort Drum Emergency Manager.

Fortunately, it's just a drill.

If it were real, emergency responders from all over would be called in.

But would one know what the other was doing?

"One of our primary concerns is always that we have good coordination and communication with the local community and we can work together as a team," said Byard.

All mass casualty incidents have the potential to develop into mass confusion.

Keeping that confusion to a minimum is what saves the greatest number of lives.

"It takes a lot of command and control to prevent that confusion," said Joe Plummer, Jefferson County Director of Fire and Emergency Management.

"The more we drill, the better we get, the more lives can be saved," said Jefferson County Emergency Medical Director Charlie Brenon.

Some of the simulated casualties are hustled to Samaritan Medical Center, as the hospital tests its mass casualty procedures.

"What would happen if we really got 30 patients at a time?  If all of our beds are currently taken by patients, where do we put those," said Krista Kittle, SMC spokeswoman.  

The dead and injured have been taken away.

What's next?  

A corrective plan of action for anything that went wrong.


Saturday, December 10, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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