Emergency training in vacant Brunswick County home

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Firefighters and EMS workers from eastern North Carolina were in Brunswick County Saturday for an un-natural disaster.

Brunswick County Emergency Services hosted a training exercise in a vacant home in Shallotte.  They pretended a category three hurricane had just struck the area.

"What it's simulating is us being able to utilize resources locally and resources from the region response component to be able to manage and address the situation we face with a storm," said Randy Thompson with Brunswick Emergency Services.

Officials destroyed a vacant home last week for the drill, and volunteers of all ages played victims in need of medical attention.

FORE officials and EMS workers checked each of the "victims" and sent the ones needing "intensive care" to Dosher Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Once all the victims were accounted for outside the home, the search began for any persons inside the structure.

"It gives us an opportunity to come out and utilize our skills from the training we have received from doing it," said Brian Mims with the Fayetteville Fire Department.  "Plus, it gives us a chance to interact with other agencies and other departments."

Officials with Urban Search and Rescue searched debris while other officials put stilts in place to prevent the structure from collapsing further.

It may have been a fictional disaster, but officials believe they are now more prepared than ever to act when the real thing comes ashore.

"I think our local responders will take something away from it and our regional responders will take something away from it," said Thompson.

Thompson said they hope to make this training an annual event if funds are available.

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