Event to prepare responders for big Oct. drill

By 
Cassi Geiser - Enterprise Staff Writer
Friday, September 9, 2022

Early next week Park County Rural Fire District #1, along with Livingston Fire & Rescue, will begin preparation for a large-scale mass casualty drill that will take place in October.

The drills next week will begin with running an extrication scenario — cutting panels and removing the top and side of a school bus — to prepare EMS and fire services for a much larger drill coming in October.

The October drill will involve Park County Rural Fire District #1, Livingston Fire & Rescue/EMS, Livingston HealthCare, Bozeman Deaconess, Park County Sheriff’s Office, Livingston Police Department, as well as Life Flight and MedFlight out of Bozeman. The drill will also involve some student volunteers from Park High.

The scenario, according to Fire & Rescue EMS Chief Nate Wulf, will test the limits and capabilities of Park County’s resources, and push their boundaries in this realistic emergency drill.

Stacy Kohler, RN, director of Nursing at LHC, expressed her excitement about an important opportunity to take part in drills and how critical it is to test all aspects of the community’s preparedness. Jude Waerig, LHC emergency preparedness coordinator, said he was grateful to local EMS services for organizing and inviting them to participate in the October drill. Waerig feels the training will help nurture a great partnership between local EMS and LHC in working together in emergency situations.

Before the October drill, all agencies involved will meet at the drill location inside city limits to go over the scenario and set details for carrying out the life-like large scale incident.

Wulf said the public will be notified before the drill takes place, and welcomes people to watch from a distance when it occurs.

Wulf also noted that local EMS “try to do this once a year, or at least every 14-16 months to keep everyone fresh and in tune.”

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