Firefighters of New York town Gerry host mock disaster drill to great effect

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On the 19th August, five area volunteer fire departments – along with the Chautaqua County Office of Emergency Services and the Starflight helicopter – joined forces to stage a mock disaster drill which revolved around a fictional collapse of the bleachers located at the Gerry rodeo grounds.
Around 50 EMS and fire department volunteers from Gerry, Falconer, Sinclairville and Fluvanna turned up within minutes of being notified with over a dozen emergency vehicles – which included an ambulance from each department which were required to treat 20 ‘victims’, with injuries ranging from fatalities to cuts and bruises to broken bones.
The ‘victims’ in question were members of the Jamestown Civil Air Patrol mixed with several community volunteers, and their fake injures appeared lifelike thanks to sublime make-up work headed by Laura Logan, who is the EMS captain for the Cassadaga Fire Department, and Roberta Edwards, who works with the Panama Fire Department.
The injuries were given priority dependent on their severity, and one ‘victim’, who had been trapped under debris, was flown out by the Starlight helicopter, while those who needed hospital treatment were subsequently loaded into ambulances.
After the drill was completed, the volunteers all met in the pavilion on the rodeo grounds for an evaluation by Chautauqua County EMS Coordinator Steve Cobbs and Kevin Peebles, who is project coordinator for the County EMS.
EMS captain from the Gerry Fire Department Bob Rein developed the event, and claimed that the drill was very successful as it suggests that should a major disaster take place in Gerry, the services have proved that they can react accordingly.
Rein was assisted in the planned by EMS captains Chris Roll, Jodi Shaw, Dan Braggs, Lee Purdue and Jessica Fosberg. As well as this, Krista Swanson – chief flight nurse for Starflight – and Scott Bailey – Third Battalion Fire Coordinator – were singled out for praise for their efforts.

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