Raleigh County first responders train for mass casualty event

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BEAVER, WV (WVNS) — Fire trucks, ambulances, and police cruisers rushed to the scene. Firefighters ran with their hoses, as EMS teams prepared the gurneys.

The scene was an airplane crash at the Raleigh County Memorial Airport with 12 victims inside, but it was completely staged for a training exercise.

Cody Fortner is the Emergency Planner for Raleigh County 911 and put on the simulation.

“The whole purpose of this is to see what went wrong, and where we need to improve on,” Fortner said.

The first responders had to put out the fire on the plane, rescue the volunteer victims inside, triage them, and get them to the hospital if need be.

Makayla Green and Keaira Corriveau are new to the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department. This was their first time taking part in training like this.

“It’s a lot of adrenaline for sure,” Corriveau said.

“It’s a lot of adrenaline, it’s really hectic but it’s so fun. It’s so worth every minute of it,” Green said.

Airport security even had to deal with a staged distraught family member, Vickie Aliff. She also called 911 operators, and attempted to pry information out of them. After watching the exercise, she said she would feel safe if she was a victim on that plane.

“I saw the professionals actually doing it and yes, I would be very confident in them,” Aliff said.

Not only does this exercise keep skills sharp, it also showcases the abilities of Raleigh County’s Emergency response teams, and their teamwork.

“What you see behind me here is all being handled by Raleigh County Fire Departments, EMS agencies, emergency management 911, sheriff’s office, state police — they are all pulling together to make sure they get the job done,” Fornter said.

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