STAMFORD, Conn. -- First responders from the Stamford Office of Public Safety recently took part in an emergency response training exercise at the 220-acre Mianus River Park.
The Stamford Police Department, Stamford Fire Department, Stamford Emergency Medical Services and Stamford’s Community Emergency Response Team joined together to participate in the exercise on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Mianus River Park. The focus of the drill was to test best practices, emergency response and procedures.
The exercise was made up of two scenarios involving search and rescue for a missing and injured person lost in the park and assisting a missing and injured rescuer.
“Multiple departments and volunteers from the Office of Public Safety gathered to simulate a critical emergency response to different scenarios. Exercises like today, are vital to ensuring coordination, collaboration and communication during emergency incidents and to provide an understanding of how to better improve our emergency preparedness and response," said Ted Jankowski, Stamford director of public safety, in a release.
The Stamford Police Department sent several on-duty members with the Mobile Command Vehicle, a trained Canine Unit and an off-road vehicle. Representatives said Stamford’s CERT was "instrumental in coordinating the exercise, and more than two dozen CERT members participated by providing a detailed team search of the 220 acre park," according to the release.
“The Stamford CERT is a group of extremely dedicated and trained volunteers who have been taking a more active volunteer role assisting with emergency preparedness projects in support of the Office of Public Safety," said Chris Munger, the President of CERT and exercise facilitator.
Members of SEMS used an Emergency Medical Cart - All Terrain vehicle to respond to the victim’s location during the drill. The EMCAT crew worked with the Stamford Fire Department and their Utility Terrain Vehicle for a coordinated response, according to the release.
The Stamford Fire Department UTV Unit assisted SEMS as necessary in the treatment, packaging and removal of the victim.
"These incidents are typically more complex to respond to than the day-to-day EMT & Paramedic calls," the press release said. "Examples include large events like parades, structural fires or other major incidents where an ambulance may be staged a great distance from the scene or anywhere access is limited or difficult, as was today's drill required a coordinated response by all as the responders and vehicles had to transverse some very difficult terrain. The highly skilled and trained Operators had to use their learned driving skills to ensure safe passage."
Once the injured victims were found, the SKED was then guided out of the woods to a fire road and evacuated to a safe area where members of all agencies were staged, according to the release.
"We accomplished what we set out to accomplish today, which was to exercise how responders communicate, collaborate and respond to a complicated search and rescue incident utilizing unified command," said Jankowski. "The exercise provided for a positive learning experience.”