What first responders learned from Hale County tornado drill

Hale County disaster drill
Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 10:32 PM CDT
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HALE COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - West Alabama first responders are learning how to better handle a disastrous tornado.

Hale County EMA held a disaster drill, which last several hours, Thursday night included around 450 people from seven different counties.

About 60 people acted as victims and patients during the drill and they were even taken to the Hale County Hospital to test their surge capacity. EMA Director Russell Weeden said it went very well.

They also tried different ways to communicate between first responders like through apps to cut down on radio traffic. While some worked great, Weeden says others didn’t, and that’s the point: to figure out what doesn’t work and what does.

“Nighttime triage -- If it’s at night, most units have the little tags to tell you what color patient they are so last night we tried the glow sticks,” he explained. “It was at night so you could look out through the whole field and see where your most critical patients were so that worked great.”

Weeden said it worked so well that they will use the glow sticks for future nighttime disasters.

He says they do this training to learn and grow so first responders are even more prepared the next time a disaster strikes.


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