Ohio disaster response drill features 500-plus fake victims around Columbus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — More lights and sirens could be seen throughout our area Tuesday afternoon for an exercise called operation continued care. This was a training afternoon for response times and transportation in case a massive attack happened in our city of Columbus.

500 volunteers gathered to act as if a massive attack happened with simulated wounds from guns and grenades. Men and women were seen running around with fake blood and fake injuries all designed to better prepare our police, fire, EMS and hospitals.

Mapfre Stadium, John Glenn international airport, Otterbein university and 9 franklin county hospitals were set locations and each location played an important role in a large simulated event designed to help officials prepare for a potential disaster here in Columbus.

Sherri Kovach the Executive Director Central Ohio Trauma System says this is all happening so we can see how emergency crews work together in case multiple attacks were to happen.

“It is pretty prominent in the news across the world and if you all remember in the last few months we had an attack in our own Ohio State University so where the goal is to practice and make sure that we are prepared”.

Assistant Chief Jim Cannell of Emergency Services said a lot was learned and the event ran smoothly.  “It’s a new concept throughout the United States of how we handle these mass casualties, mass shooting type of incidents”.

Federal funds from ASPR, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response goes to the Ohio department of health and $100,000 of that money went to Tuesday’s training and a consulting firm called Ascentra. The money did not go to any ems, fire or hospital staff individually where overtime was given.

Nine hospitals in franklin county participated – Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Mount Carmel East and West, St. Anne’s, OSU East and OSU Wexner Medical Center, Riverside Methodist Hospital, Dublin Methodist and Diley Ridge Medical Center.

According to Franklin County Public Health, this is the largest exercise in central Ohio to date. So is Columbus prepared if something like this happened here? Sherri Kovach said the final reports will be in in the next couple weeks on what went great and what to improve on but said it ran smoothly and crews learned a lot, even more than expected today.

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