AURELIA, Iowa (KCAU) — Cherokee County Emergency Management held a training exercise to prepare for a situation they hope never happens.
The exercise focused on the transportation of a large amount of propane and subsequent accident and response efforts within a populated area. Areas tested varied from communications, incident command, hazardous material handling, EMS response, vehicle extrication techniques, and decontamination practices.
“Well, like knowing it wasn’t real was a reliever, but if it would’ve been real I would’ve acted way different,” said Lily Schulenberg, an actress for the exercise.
“We went through a simulated car accident involving a propane tanker truck that had an accident with a private vehicle that was hauling trees. Of course, the trees ended up kind of scattered on the grounds we had those hit multiple people, we had several victims, towards the end the propane tanker moved and sparked and of course caught fire,” said Cherokee County Emergency Management Coordinator Justin Pitts.
“We had the 4-H group from Cherokee County. They played victims,” Pitts added.
“The whole time we were there, they were at someone every time no matter, like, if he were very injured or if he just had one bruise, They were all there and the EMTs did really good, and we’re making sure that everyone was like, being treated,” said Schulenberg.
“Responders come up to a patient. They identify what, what their injuries are and the extent to their injuries, and then he’ll put them on a, on a different colored tarp,” Pitts said of the exercise.
“We’re in a small community and still, like, big things can happen, and I feel like it would make up way more like knowing, and what to do if it was such a big accident,” said Schulenberg.
The exercise was funded by Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grant funds through the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Region 4 Local Emergency Planning Commission (LEPC).