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McKenzie County prepares for large-scale emergency simulation

McKenzie County prepares for large-scale emergency simulation
McKenzie County prepares for large-scale emergency simulation(KFYR)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 5:14 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A full-scale mass casualty and hazardous materials exercise will be held in McKenzie County Thursday, Sept. 17 to prepare first responders if those events occur in the future.

Officials won’t know the scenario until they’re briefed, but say it could be anything from a plane crash to a gas-plant incident.

There will be actors that will help the situation seem more real so that first responders get a feel for what a mass emergency situation could be like. County officials want to test out the capabilities of the hospital and of themselves.

“When you have a county this large, you don’t want anybody to become complacent. We need to know how to work with each other. We need to know when to call on mutual aid. We need to know when to call for more resources,” said McKenzie County Emergency Manager Karolin Jappe.

The county has experienced large emergency events, like an undetected tornado that destroyed homes in 2018 and a salt-water disposal site explosion that occurred last year, but they want to prepare for bigger situations.

The full-scale simulation is part of the training that local first responders and officials have been going through for the past year.

The Heartland Consulting Group is coordinating the exercise, and will be analyzing and giving feedback on how the county can improve.

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