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Tolland Ambulance Crew Praised For Its Work in August Disaster Drill

The drill was a major regional preparedness exercise.

A Tolland ambulance at IMPACT 2013. Photo Credit: Chris Dehnel
A Tolland ambulance at IMPACT 2013. Photo Credit: Chris Dehnel
Vernon Emergency Management Direcror Michael Purcaro on Monday had high praise for the mutual aid responders who took part in an August mass casualty disaster drill at Rockville High School. 

It was part of a briefing in the wake of an after-action report. 

A Tolland ambulance crew took part in the exercise. 

"We have to senbd out a big thank you to our response partners," Purcaro said. "The response was as good as it was because of their part."

The drill was called "IMPACT 2013" for "Integrated Municipal Preparedness and Collaborative Training." The after-action report was authored by the Capitol Region Council of Governments based on feedback from participants and evaluators. 

"Exercises such as IMPACT 2013 are complex and provide a challenge in not only response but preparation and the IMPACT 2013 Exercise Planning Team did an outstanding job in meeting this challenge," the report stated. 

The fictitious scenario unfolded on Aug. 15, when a car slammed into the bleachers at the Rockville High School football stadium on a sunny morning. 

The dazed and confused driver left an injured child behind and wandered into the school building as administrators imposed a soft lockdown. Meanwhile, victims littered the grassy knoll behind the wrecked bleachers. They were full of students attending an outdoor event when the car hit. 

First-responders from several area towns and agencies - including Life Star helicopter - rushed to the area to coordinate a multi-faceted response. 

According to the report, there were several major successes, including: 

• Well-established incident command systems between "town and mutual aid resources."

• Various response organizations were able to integrate into unified command without significant difficulty.  

• The assignment of respond roles was well done. 

Participating in the event were: Town of Vernon, Vernon Public Schools, state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Capitol Region Council of Governments, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Johnson Memorial Hospital, United Steel, Life Star (Hartford Hospital), Ellington Fire Department, East Windsor Ambulance, South Windsor Ambulance, Coventry Fire Department, Somers Fire/Ambulance, UCONN Fire Department, Ellington Ambulance, Tolland Fire Department, American Medical Response, Tolland County Dispatch, Ambulance Service of Manchester, Enfield Ambulance, and Marinello School of Makeup.

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