Be aware of emergency response drills at Kent's ShoWare Center
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
April 6, 2012 · 1:33 PM
Expect to see large numbers of emergency vehicles traveling and in the parking lots of Kent's ShoWare Center on eight days over the next four weeks as part of a mass casualty incident drill.
The drills will run from approximately 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 9-12, April 30 and May 1-3 at the arena, 625 W. James St., according to a media release from the Kent Fire Department.
"The Kent Fire Department will work to minimize the impact to the community and appreciate their understanding and patience," said fire department spokesman Kyle Ohashi.
Fire Departments from throughout South King County will participate in the drills as well as the Redmond Fire Department and King County Medic One.
The practice sessions are to help emergency responders prepare for incidents where the number of victims exceeds the resources initially responding, Ohashi said.
"In years past, a typical mass casualty incident would be a school bus full of children involved in a vehicle crash or employees of a company being exposed to a chemical leak," Ohashi said. "Currently, we see in the news stories of mass shootings or explosive devices placed near a crowd of people.
"While mass casualty incidents do not happen often, they do happen so the fire departments and other emergency responders of South King County are working to ensure that they are as ready as possible to deal with them."
During the drills, a scenario where multiple people have been shot is being used to simulate a real incident. Volunteers from local high schools, CERT programs, and Explorer Scouts will play the part of the victims as firefighters and paramedics respond to their calls for help. The drills have been designed to test and practice King County’s new mass casualty incident plan and will not involve a police response.
Contact Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter Steve Hunter at email@example.com or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.