The Carnegie Fire Department and EMS had a disaster training exercise today, partnering up with the Carnegie Tri-County Municipal Hospital and the Carnegie Public Schools. What was simulated was a boiler explosion at the High School, that resulted in several injured students and staff. The exercise was meant to test our readiness for situations that cause our first responder agencies, as well as other town personnel, and other institutions in the community, to be stretched to their limit.
The morning started as a call was made to the county E911 center, that an explosion and resulting fire had started at the Carnegie High School. The Carnegie Police arrived quickly thereafter, followed immediately by an ambulance from the EMS, then another.
The firemen had to enter the school to simulate containing the fire, and to find any victims that were hidden by simulated dense smoke. Air Evac Lifeteam even responded to the drill by sending a helicopter that landed on scene to simulate having an emergency trauma evacuation of a patient. The majority of the “patients” were taken to Carnegie Tri-County Municipal Hospital, who conducted a disaster drill of their own in concert with the town.
The hospital had “all hands on deck” to respond to the crisis. Even one of our volunteer firemen became part of the simulation. The Carnegie Emergency Management Committee, which is comprised of members of all of Carnegie’s first responder agencies, as well as several other members of the community, assisted in the planning and staging of this event. The goal, from their perspective, was to gain some insight into how we could better equip and prepare ourselves to deal with mass casualty situations. These types of training events are uniquely able to uncover certain problems and lack of resources or equipment to be able to deal with an emergency that affects the community as a whole.
The Town thanks all of the participants in the event today, and the event organizers believe the drill was a great success.