LVAC coordinates drill, conducts safety outreach

LVAC at the Fire Safety Day at Como Park School on Sept. 23.

LVAC continued its mission of community preparedness and safety over the weekend with two events — a mass evacuation drill and outreach event. On Sept. 23 LVAC took part in the Village of Lancaster's 18th annual “Fire Prevention and Life Safety Family Day” at Como Park Elementary School. The day included roof ventilation and vehicle extrication demonstrations by the Lancaster Fire Department, school bus safety and fun for the whole family. LVAC members offered information about membership and our Explorers post conducted free blood pressure checks. Our newest ambulance and emergency response SUV were also on display. On Sept. 22, LVAC coordinated a "mass evacuation drill" with the Town Line Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Lancaster Amateur Radio Club and Erie County's Specialized Medical Assistance Response Team. Responders were given the following scenario: a large brush fire in Westwood Park required evacuation of the nearby "Westwood Nursing Facility." Eight "patients" with injuries ranging from serious to minor were found at the scene — the park's pavilion. Patients were provided by the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). This simulated mass casualty incident (MCI) allowed LVAC to test the Incident Command System (ICS), which is "a systematic tool used for the command, control, and coordination of emergency response." Patients were prioritized as level 1, 2 or 3 using the triage system. At least 10 LVAC personnel and multiple ambulances were mobilized in response to the drill. Patients were treated and transported from the scene to safety at LVAC's base. "We discovered that we can handle ICS and an MCI," said first assistant director of operations Larry Pohl. "We effectively coordinated with other resources in the town — fire and OEM." Pohl said the drill was especially useful because of the large number of nursing facilities in LVAC's district.
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