Woodmere Engine 1 & Squad 1 participated in the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) Full Scale Exercise (5/21/2016).
The exercise simulated a tank truck of Hydrofluoric Acid (70%) in an accident at 271 northbound at Harvard Road in Orange. There were 10 victims of trauma who also had HF acid burns and respiratory compromise (they were moulaged and looked very realistic). The victims were rescued and then transported by ten mutual aid squads to Hillcrest and Bedford FD. Ahuja Hospital was affected by the location of the release and initiated shelter in place procedures. Hillcrest and Bedford Hospitals also exercised their Mass Casualty plans. Their HERT teams performed emergency decon and then brought the patients into the ED to “treat” the wounds.
The incident was simulated to occur during the RNC, so the new county EOC was already staffed and open. The county EOC also exercised how this would impact on the RNC, media coverage, and how to get delegates from Beachwood and Orange hotels to the convention despite the closures. Other agencies such as ODOT, Chagrin Valley Dispatch, Solon Dispatch, CECOMS, Center for Health Affairs, Tri-C, Orange Police, and evaluators from numerous agencies also played key roles.
This was a state required LEPC exercise and we had many objectives to meet in order to pass. Thanks to the efforts of everyone, the Ohio EMA has given a concurrence that we successfully passed the exercise.
The objectives being tested included:
- Notification of Response Agencies
- Incident Assessment
- Incident Command
- Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
- Response Personnel Safety
- Emergency Public Information
- Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
- Hospital Services
During the hot wash (review), there were several great discussion points which are opportunities for improvement. We have already initiated discussion regarding additional training for all agencies on the use of the MARCS system.
The exercise tested the ability of the public safety agencies of Cuyahoga County to implement our hazmat emergency response plan.
Submitted by Fire Chief Brewington
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