First responders from east Columbus converged on the airport Tuesday morning as part of a large scale disaster drill that included sites at John Glenn International Airport, MAPFRE Stadium, Otterbein University, and area hospitals.
Mifflin, Jefferson, Truro and Plain Townships, along with the city of Whitehall and the West Licking Fire District practiced a response to a simulated terrorist attack, with nearly 500 volunteer “victims” in an effort to evaluate the coordinated response of multiple agencies to active assailants at three locations. The east side agencies participated at the airport location only.
In order to provide as much realism as possible, volunteers were used to act as victims. The “victims” had cards which included symptoms, and they were instructed to act according to their symptoms and with pre-identified responses to information pertaining to the scenario.
“Anytime we have an opportunity to test our abilities and resources, it is a chance to discover what improvements we can make to our emergency response process and procedures,” said Mifflin Fire Chief Fred Kauser. “Mifflin Township firefighters welcomed these exercises because they are simply as close to a real-life scenario as we can get, and they help to prepare all of us for a natural or man-made disaster.”