Lifesaver 2009 disaster drill tests emergency responder skills - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Lifesaver 2009 disaster drill tests emergency responder skills

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS  (WLOX) -  A railroad tanker car filled with anhydrous ammonia begins leaking near a busy intersection. Dozens of people are exposed to the hazardous fumes.

That was the scenario during a disaster drill Wednesday morning.

"Lifesaver 2009" is a multi-state, multi-agency drill that tests disaster readiness.

"How many are waiting on transport over there? You had 30 patients total?" yelled the Gulfport fireman, as he worked to coordinate emergency response at the disaster site.

Emergency responders worked quickly to prioritize the victims.

"Hey, this is triage one," said one EMT into his radio. "I have 13 green, two yellow patients. I still have four red."

 "It's a simulated anhydrous ammonia release that we've had a number of patients, probably 35 or 40 patients affected by the release. That's respiratory problems, breathing problems," explained Gulfport fire chief, Pat Sullivan.

"Shortness of breath is all cleared up?  You're good also?" said the female EMT, as she spoke with the injured, who leaned against a brick wall.

Keesler students played  the role of patients in this drill.

"We're going to still keep you on the monitor and keep you on oxygen and keep monitoring you until we transport," said another emergency responder.

Memorial Hospital in Gulfport is among several South Mississippi medical facilities testings its readiness.

As first responders sort the injured, workers outside the ER quickly assembled the decontamination tent.

Disasters like chemical leaks are likely to produce a deluge of patients.

"A lot of patients in a short period of time that have to be decontaminated. It helps the hospital practice their decontamination procedures. It helps the emergency room practice their response to chemical injuries," said Chief Sullivan.

It also tests the hospital's disaster plan.

"The purpose of the drill, contrary to what people might believe, is to find out what our weaknesses are. To find out where we don't measure up so we can take action to be prepared in the event of a real disaster," said Larry Henderson, the vice president of administrative services at Memorial.

"You can never practice too much. And when you practice enough, you're going to get it right," said Chief Sullivan.

Lifesaver 2009 involved emergency responders and medical facilities in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • VA study shows parasite from Vietnam may be killing vets

    VA study shows parasite from Vietnam may be killing vets

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 4:11 PM EST2017-11-21 21:11:31 GMT
    Wednesday, November 22 2017 1:04 PM EST2017-11-22 18:04:47 GMT

    A half century after serving in Vietnam, hundreds of veterans have a reason to believe they may be dying from a silent bullet _ test results show some men may have been infected by a slow-killing parasite while...

    More >>

    A half century after serving in Vietnam, hundreds of veterans have a reason to believe they may be dying from a silent bullet _ test results show some men may have been infected by a slow-killing parasite while fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

    More >>
  • State flag flies over OS city hall again

    State flag flies over OS city hall again

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 10:38 AM EST2017-11-22 15:38:54 GMT
    Mississippi's state flag returns to the Ocean Springs City Hall flag pole (Photo Source: WLOX News Now)Mississippi's state flag returns to the Ocean Springs City Hall flag pole (Photo Source: WLOX News Now)

    At 7:30 Wednesday morning, Ocean Springs city workers stepped up to the city hall flag pole. They hooked Mississippi's state flag underneath the American flag, and they raised both flags over the city hall grounds. And just like that, five days of debate over whether the state flag should fly in Ocean Springs temporarily came to an end.

    More >>

    At 7:30 Wednesday morning, Ocean Springs city workers stepped up to the city hall flag pole. They hooked Mississippi's state flag underneath the American flag, and they raised both flags over the city hall grounds. And just like that, five days of debate over whether the state flag should fly in Ocean Springs temporarily came to an end.

    More >>
  • Hancock Co. murder suspects to appear in court

    Hancock Co. murder suspects to appear in court

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 9:19 AM EST2017-11-22 14:19:39 GMT

    The father and son charged with killing Philip Whitaker will make their initial appearance in court Wednesday. A court clerk says Carl and Terry Smith will be in Hancock County Justice Court sometime today. Hancock County Sheriff’s Department investigators arrested Terry Smith and his son, Carl Smith Tuesday after questioning them about Whitaker's shooting death.

    More >>

    The father and son charged with killing Philip Whitaker will make their initial appearance in court Wednesday. A court clerk says Carl and Terry Smith will be in Hancock County Justice Court sometime today. Hancock County Sheriff’s Department investigators arrested Terry Smith and his son, Carl Smith Tuesday after questioning them about Whitaker's shooting death.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly