The group of volunteers set up in a lot at NBC studios for the
drill, which featured mock explosions set off by terrorists at a mall
and a crowded school gym.
The volunteers, who are trained through the Fire Department's
Community Disaster Preparedness unit, usually train for what to do in
case of fires and earthquakes.
"This scenario was a bit different," Disaster Preparedness
Coordinator Rich Baenen said.
Along with the usual triages and search and rescue of mock
victims, the volunteers had to coordinate resources in their six
districts. In a real scenario, the volunteers would report to one of
the six assigned fire stations.
In a twist Saturday, disaster volunteer district leaders had to
shift people from district to district to allocate resources where
they were needed most.
"It was a little new to us," Community Disaster Volunteer Joe
Dunn. "The design of the drill was [purposely] off-balance."
Dunn and fire officials said holding the drill at NBC -- a first
-- was helpful. With its variety of warehouses, lots and office
space, the volunteers said they had enough space, diversity and
realism to do the exercises.
NBC also let the volunteers use fog and fire machines for more
realistic effects. NBC, fire and police officials also were on hand
to observe and be part of the drill.
Baenen said the drill was important because it prepared for a
larger, countywide table-top drill in November, which will include
some of the volunteers.