Mercer County carries out mass casualty full scale exercise

Robert Blackford
Emergency personnel gather at the Mercer County Fairgrounds to learn more about the mock drill being conducted Thursday night in Aledo.

The Mercer County Emergency Management Director and the Mercer County Health Department Emergency Response Coordinator began meeting with other stakeholders in March 2012 about conducting a mass casualty full scale exercise. The event was six months in the planning.

On Thursday night they executed the mock event at Oak View Lane in Aledo.

Thirty-eight participating agencies from both the public and private sectors participated in the exercise. Agencies from Mercer, Rock Island, Knox and Warren counties participated in the event.

The event was held to allow the department to assess several areas of their emergency operations plan for readiness in the event of an emergency.

 None of the agencies was aware of what type of disaster they would be practicing for in an attempt to keep the exercise as realistic as possible.

A helicopter even landed at the high school football field.

Several individuals volunteered to serve as victims during the exercise and emergency personnel found them in various states of injury when they arrived at the scene. Each victim, as well as the personnel were given identification to distinguish them as players in the mock disaster. Each witness interviewed gave their testimony about what had happened during the disaster.