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Emergency response drills at Kent's ShoWare Center this week

Emergency responders will conduct numerous mass casualty incident drills April 30 through May 3 at the ShoWare Center parking lots in Kent. - Kent Reporter, file photo
Emergency responders will conduct numerous mass casualty incident drills April 30 through May 3 at the ShoWare Center parking lots in Kent.
— image credit: Kent Reporter, file photo

Expect to see numerous emergency vehicles and personnel were in the parking lots of Kent's ShoWare Center, 625 W. James St., Monday through Thursday as part of a mass casualty incident drill.

Fire Departments from throughout South King County will participate in the drills as well as the Redmond Fire Department and King County Medic One, according to a Kent Fire Department media release.

The practice sessions are to help emergency responders prepare for incidents where the number of victims exceeds the resources initially responding, said Kent Fire Department spokesman Kyle Ohashi.

"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 used to simulate a real incident. Volunteers from local high schools, CERT programs, and Explorer Scouts 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.

The emergency departments ran a similar drill in early April.

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