May 8, 2014 7:51 PM by Annie Snead

Local agencies participate in "Skyfall" drill - mass casualty exercise

It's the largest mass casualty exercise many say they have taken part in.
You may have seen some of the action Thursday near the Colorado Springs Airport.
The disaster drill "Skyfall" is designed to test how everyone - from fire and police - to the military and hospitals, would react to a real event.
News 5's Annie Snead was at the plane crash scenario near the airport where multiple agencies, the fire department, ambulances and helicopters all arrive to help the mock crash victims.
"We don't know when our next disaster is going to hit, we don't know when our next plane crash is going to happen," said Battalion Chief Randy Royal.
Which is why these types of exercises are so important for our community.
And when handling disasters - Battalion Chief Randy Royal with the fire department says communication between different agencies is key.
"If you look at past disaster exercise or past real incidents probably one of the biggest problems that occurs is communication and that's a continuing effort to develop that and make it better," said Royal.
He was one of the responders to the United Airlines Flight 585 crash in 1991.
"I can tell you the difference between how we would have responded to that back then and how we respond now is tremendously different," he said.
And the exercise continued at area hospitals.
"We received over 65 patients and it really went well," said Dr. Andrew Berson, Director of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Berson assessed "patients" as they arrived, determining their level of injuries and those patients went through the entire facility.
"What this gave us today was a real world test of our plan and the reason that's important is because you know today we test the scenario with an airplane crash but it could be an explosion, it could be a fire, it could be a flood, where we have a lot of victims show up all at one time," he said.
As life like as possible so when it comes down to saving real lives - they're prepared.
Many will get together today for an "after action review" to see what areas worked well where there's room for improvement.


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