I am new to this site, my involvement in the field is in Emergency Management.
A topic I'd like to hear responses from is, How prepared is your department to handle mass casualties due to either natural or man made disaster? Has your department undergone specialized training, do you drill for such an event, etc. . .? Also, is there a greater need for preparation in the smaller departments vs the larger city departments?

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That definitely is true, but we do have Incident Response Plans in order and setup for a variety of different incidents and situations including mass casualty incidents. We are always changing, modifying, and creating Incident Response Plans all the time so we're trying to stay up-to-date with the ever changing world.
This is a tough one to answer. As a city, we are not prepared. We are a major city and apparently on the terrorist target list... are we ready for that? I don't think so. Our city management runs on a risk management model. We run our service at bare bones. We train as often as possible, extrication, trench, ropes, high angle, water, first aid, etc as well as cross training with police, ems and military response. We've had major pile ups, the last one being 54 cars in a blinding snow storm with mulitple fatalities and even more casualties, a building collpase with people trapped, 5 alarm fires, a trench that collapsed and buried workers, train derailment and a plane off the runway. All were handled well with a, "holy crap" tacked on the end of them. There have been many large scale, multiple service calls and still, are we ready? Hard to say. If we're talking about a disaster on the scale of 9/11, then no, I don't think anyone could be ready for that. Local scale with no outside help required (by that I mean outside the city), then yes, I suppose we have already proven that we are.
Well, I would say the state of Illinois is very ready, thanks to MABAS. I just come from the delivery of a 53ft trailer equiped with everything, this was 2 of 7. 1000 people Tent city is on the way, 27 decon trucks, 62 fully equiped hazmat and TRT teams, 8 air trucks, 65 light towers, 4 comm trailers, 9 command trucks plus the equipment of 90% of the departments in the state. All ready willing and able to come if they can, and you need them. Is there anyone else even close?
Careful there, cowboy.
People might think that you're bragging about the great state of Illinois.
We are fortunate to have that certain somebody pushing the fire service.
I have heard from others who are really struggling.
They are the ones that we will most likely be assisting and glad to do so.
Might have to chip in for gas the way it's going.
Welcome to the Nation, by the way.
Art
You, Trainer, are quite fortunate to have all of that equipment and material ready at your disposal should a MCI occur on your turf.
I am involved in Emergency Mgt, and I like to think we are "ready" for whatever could or may happen. The county I live and volunteer in has "several" MCI trailers stocked and ready to deploy on short notice. They are equipped with emergency medical supplies, various rescue tools, and a portable communication center. Do I think we have everything we need, no, but we have an excellent "network" of individuals and departments ready to respond at a moment's notice.
On a related subject, I'm interested in hearing from the fire service personnel on your opinion of the various volunteer groups trained to respond after a disaster. These would include Medical Reserve Corp and CERT trained personnel. Interested in hearing how you feel about these volunteers being in the area after a disaster, do you feel they are an aid or a hindrance to your operations. I know at this time of the year, in my part of the country, we are always on the look out for tornadoes and flooding due to heavy spring rains.
Braggin, you bet. You should have seen the sh...stuff in this trailer, and it's sittin in Gburg. Would take a Fed declaration to get it though. (this site needs spell check) And if one is declared, kati bar the door, everything is paid for. Now I got to reply to Karen.
It has spell check.
And much more.
Like the disaster trailer, this site has everything but the kitchen sink.
The kitchen sink should be along shortly.
Art
Sounds like you are moving in the right direction, but is your setup in one location? Our equipment is placed through out the state for a better response. I did not even mention the EMS stuff. Most of this equipment is owned by private hospitials. In our area we have a strike team trailer and a mobile ER/operating trailer. Now about the vol's, I'm one, and have been for 20+ years, and it's all about how your trained. I have certifications to match any paid FF. We do a lot of bitchin about equility, but in most cases we are our own worst enamies, Katrina proved that. The vols that were in the first deployment wern't near quilified, well most of them, and it showed, they had no idea what they were gittin into, that is why no more were sent on the next 2 rounds. That is why I would say yes, they are a hindrance. Now if they are quilified, that's a whole different story. In closing I have to say; there are several groups in every state that are there when a disaster occurs, some have been around for a long time. Very few have put the equipment where it's needed, before it occurs, in the hands of the first responders, FF/EMS, after all are they not the first in. MABAS has done this with close to 90mil in the last 6 years. Sorry for my spellin, i miss my spellcheck.

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