LAURENS COUNTY, S.C. – More than 40 agencies from across the Upstate were at the Sawmill Training Complex on Tuesday.
The exercise included multiple helicopters, law enforcement, fire and EMS teams. That were on scene at the Sawmill Training Complex.
“We built it as a training venue for mostly law enforcement and special operators in the military,” co-owner, Steve Brown said.
This week, the space has turned into the scene of a simulated natural disaster.
“It’s a tornado touchdown strike at an outdoor music festival. We have multiple life safety threats, overturned vehicles,” Josh Dosher, Laurens County EMS education coordinator, said.
First responders had a lot of ground to cover over a square mile area.
“It’s the largest one I ever put together. We had over 70 patients,” Dosher said. “It’s a good scenario to get that real world culture shock of having to deal with multiple patients with multiple injuries and figure out where they all have to go.”
It’s also an opportunity to test new technology.
“This is the perfect event to showcase our servers,” John Ketterman, marketing director for VK Integrated Systems, said. “Whoever is ever in command can watch where their people are at in real time and then allocate resources as necessary.”
Navigating this realistic scene is valuable practice.
“The average first responder will never respond to a mass casualty incident, at least none of this size,” Dosher said.
The Sawmill provided this location for the event for free.
“Everyone needs training right, you’re only as good as you’ve trained and that we can provide this venue for them to help build their confidence and skills that’s what’s important to us,” Brown said.
The last day of this event is Wednesday.