Local emergency services providers participate in mass casualty exercise

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Anderson County EMS & Special Operations Division hosted a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) Exercise last week at the Anderson County Fire Training Facility located at 845 Hillhouse Road. The two 4-hour exercises, one day evolution and one night evolution, simulated multiple IED explosions at a small community college campus. Fire, EMS, Sheriff’s Office and other emergency services from across the county participated.

Screams and moans of victims, portrayed by Anderson University Nursing Students, MedShore Explorers, off-duty 911 dispatchers and local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members, amidst blaring sirens and flashing red lights gave the scenario a frighteningly real feel. Victims also looked the part, thanks to realistic wounds via liquid latex, makeup and fake blood provided by ACEMS and the CERT team.

“I am incredibly proud of leadership shown by Chief Stoller and Chief Jones as well as their staffs,” said Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn. “The fact that they are continually able to bring together various public safety agencies from all of the disciplines, and that they were able to host an exercise of this magnitude, shows the best of Anderson County, where collaborative relationships effectively serve the County’s residents.”

Anderson County EMS & Special Operations Division Director Scott Stoller said, “this functional exercise was designed to measure the County’s ability to respond to an MCI event, determine gaps, and determine how to establish the incident command structure in the field, communications with first responders, field ICS triage (use of red, yellow, green and black zones), transport of the injured to health care facilities, and much more. I’m proud to say, our public safety system did very well. We owe a debt of gratitude to all our public safety professionals and volunteer victims. It is imperative that we train together to prepare for actual disasters. This was a very successful exercise. It speaks volumes when more than 200 participants care enough to give of their time so they are prepared when we need them most. Our readiness ensures that we will be capable of responding swiftly and effectively in a time of need.”

“Every disaster scenario has complications and these exercises were no different,” said Anderson County Emergency Services Director Taylor Jones. “It is one thing to run toward danger in order to save lives and property, but these professionals completed simulated mission objectives even when faced with chilly temperatures, pouring rain and biting winds. Anderson County is fortunate to have dedicated professionals that are willing to come out to train for the worse case scenarios in order to be ready for the unexpected. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but our team has worked well together and this exercise has prepared us to better respond to any type of MCI.”

Stoller selected Joshua Taylor, Anderson County EMS and a senior in the Anderson University Emergency Services Management – Whole Community Program to lead the exercise development team. “We designed this MCI exercise to test specific functions within the Anderson County emergency response system, while promoting the importance of building relationships between agencies to better our operational response to an actual event,” said Taylor. “Strengthened bonds and relations between agencies are the key to successful emergency operations.”

Participating Anderson County Emergency Service Providers included: Belton EMS, Honea Path EMS, Williamston EMS, Pelzer Rescue Squad, Iva Rescue Squad, Pendleton Rescue Squad, Fork Rescue Squad, MedShore Ambulance, Anderson County EMS, Center Rock FD, Anderson City FD, Williford FD and Anderson County FD.

Also Upstate Incident Management Team, Piedmont FD, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Anderson County Emergency Services Division, Townville FD, Michelin FD, Three & Twenty FD, Anderson County Public Works/Roads & Bridges