By Melinda Williams
Emergency services volunteers and employees descended on Memorial Square shopping center parking lot in Pulaski Thursday evening, but what may have appeared to be a major emergency was actually just a drill.
The emergency management exercise was a joint effort of LewisGale Hospital-Pulaski emergency medical services, fire departments and the medical examiner’s office in Roanoke, according to Joy Sutton, marketing communications manager for LewisGale Regional Health System.
Members of the drama department at Pulaski County High School also got into the “act,” playing the part of victims, complete with makeup to depict their various wounds.
The scenario depicted in the exercise involved a simulated wreck between a transit bus and SUV operated by a gun-toting terrorist. The SUV also was hauling a container that was supposed to be filled with a hazardous chemical that, in the simulated exercise, was released into the air and contaminated victims.
Sutton asked the media not to release information about the drill in advance of the exercise in order to cut back on the number of bystanders.
Emergency services responding to the exercise were provided with information necessary for them to properly deal with the simulated situation, such as the wind direction and details about patient injuries. Their handling of the situation was evaluated by other emergency services officials to ensure any needed changes are addressed.