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Alexandria fire chief helps disaster drill in Grant County

Photo courtesy of Chris Ray of the Grant County Herald One of the drills that emergency response teams from Grant County practiced was evacuating an injured person from a rooftop.

Grant County firefighters and emergency medical service personnel recently participated in a countywide disaster drill in Elbow Lake.

Alexandria Fire Chief Shane Schmidt also participated as an evaluator and helped coordinate an extrication station.

The event kicked off with a simulation of a tornado touching down in the southeastern portion of Elbow Lake.

All the responders were put into teams, intermixing all the departments. There were five stations that lasted 40 minutes each.

Throughout the morning the responders' teams were drilling on triage, vehicle extrication, neighborhood search and rescue, collapsed structure rescue and interior search and rescue in the dark.

There were 35 volunteer victims for this simulated drill.

Other volunteers and those trained in emergency response took pictures, helped "prep" the victims and observed. Without them, the drill would not have been successful, organizers said.

During the debriefing and lunch after the drill, many said that it didn't seem like six individual fire departments or three separate ambulance services - everyone worked together like one team.

Everything learned from the drill will help Grant County be better prepared for any type of disaster, organizers noted.