Fire and rescue battle staged disaster

Rescue crews assess injuries. / Michael Melchiorre

Fire departments surrounding Oregon staged a mass casualty drill at Cardinal Stritch High School Wednesday.

The drill came to light after the Indiana State Fair stage collapse in August, where five deaths and multiple injuries occurred. Oregon, Jerusalem Twp. and Northwood Fire departments, along with Life Star and St. Charles Hospital, collaborated together to promote a local effort for preparedness in such emergencies.

District Chief of Training Mark Mullins of Oregon Fire and Rescue says that training tests the readiness of both fire departments and hospitals.

That disaster that happened in Indiana was a real eye opener, it can happen anywhere, Mark Mullins said.

We have to look at other things that are out there in the world and we have to be able to train based on those things that are going on.

The drill simulated a bleacher collapse inside of Cardinal Stritch TMs gymnasium. A total of 30 students from Stritch and Clay High School were given injuries sustained from the incident. Rescue crews upon arrival assessed the scene and treated it as if it were a serious disaster.

There are new things (disasters) that happen and there is new equipment that comes out and we are always training, Mullins said.