After a pair of tabletop exercises earlier in the spring, Northwest College is preparing to host a mass casualty training exercise June 14 at the college involving the Park County Sheriff’s …
After a pair of tabletop exercises earlier in the spring, Northwest College is preparing to host a mass casualty training exercise June 14 at the college involving the Park County Sheriff’s Office, the Big Horn Basin Healthcare Coalition and the Wyoming National Guard.
The event comes a week after the criminal justice department hosts a member of the U.S. Secret Service for discussion.
The mass casualty training will involve an active school shooter and a hazmat emergency that will require the resources of numerous local and regional first responders and specialty teams, multiple aircraft, as well as a request for National Guard resources, according to a press release. There are expected to be over 300 participants. It is expected to bolster emergency preparedness at the county, regional and state levels.
Cody physician Elise Lowe, the Big Horn Basin Healthcare Coalition’s physician adviser and a member of Park County Search and Rescue, said in an earlier interview it’ll be the first such event at the college in seven years.
“There have been multi agency trainings in the past, including another hosted by Northwest College in 2016, but this will be the first of this magnitude and breadth,” she said in an earlier interview.
The National Guard will be conducting exercises around the state that week as part of the Vigilant Guard training sponsored by U.S. Northern Command. The purpose is to evaluate the capabilities of civilian and military first responders and emergency management personnel in responding to real-life emergencies. The exercise is meant to strengthen partnerships and improve communication and coordination.
“Disasters in rural areas like the Big Horn Basin require communities and responders to work together across many jurisdictions,” Lowe said. “Nobody has the infrastructure to do it alone. These types of training bring us together operationally. When we know the people coming to help we can serve our communities more efficiently in our worst days.”
There have been two tabletop exercises and a command structure exercise at Northwest College in preparation for this event.
Jeff Martin (Park County Emergency Manager) and Lowe are co-directing the event.
“Our law enforcement responders are committed to training together and addressing any barriers to communication between agencies so we can have a coordinated response to these types of incidents,” Martin said.