Storm Lake, IA emergency management personnel hold disaster dril - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Storm Lake, IA emergency management personnel hold disaster drill


A tanker rolls over. Toxic liquid spews from the truck. Middle school children at soccer practice are injured, some coughing from the poisonous fumes.

One victim, pinned under the tanker - unresponsive.

"A mass casualty drill," said Storm Lake Public Safety Director Mark Prosser. "We do them every year, sometimes twice a year." 

The best of Storm Lake law enforcement, fire department, and emergency management services banded together to simulate a horrific accident Tuesday night.

"Where do we go and what do we look at to determine what the proper response is?" said Prosser. "Who do we network with that on?"

The goal in any emergency situation is to contain the hazardous area and remove all individuals safely from danger.

That's always easier said than done and not always plausible. 

But practicing for the moment is the best way to prepare and together is the only option. 

"Law enforcement, fire, EMS, and the likes, how are they working together and how are they managing communication?" said Prosser.

Once the chemical substance is identified, Storm Lake fire fighters turned their focus to the victims. 

"They'll have to determine who's serious, who's not serious or who they can't save," said Prosser.

All victims were removed from the area in just under an hour.

One female and "Randy the Dummy" didn't make it out, but ten middle schoolers survived. Airlifted or taken by ambulance to Buena Vista Regional Medical Center. 

"It's what we learn and how we supervise and move vehicles in and out and how we communicate that will improve our ability to deal with any type of scenario within our jurisdiction," said Prosser.

Respond and rescue, even if it's a drill. So if it does happen they'll know what to do.

Officials say they'd normally close a number of streets around the scene, but they just closed one tonight for EMS vehicles to pass through safely.

The entire drill lasted almost two hours. 

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