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First responders to undergo mass casualty training at McHenry East High School

Mass casualty drill with fire and police personnel, hospital, D-156 Thursday

The McHenry Township Fire Protection District, McHenry Police Department and McHenry High School District 156 will hold an active assailant drill to simulate a mass casualty incident at McHenry East High School from 8 to 11 a.m. Thursday.

Personnel from nine neighboring fire departments, Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital and Flight for Life will assist in the training exercise.

“The planned exercise allows us to work with our fellow first responders to strengthen our response capabilities,” McHenry Township Fire Chief Tony Huemann said. “We hope that these skills and equipment are never needed, but we also know we must be prepared to respond in a moment’s notice.

“This drill allows us to test the coordination skills between our agencies and train to protect our personnel. This will help us to be even more prepared.”

Students and staff from East Campus will participate in the drill to make it a more realistic scenario.

“The exercise will provide an evaluation platform for assessing existing procedures and shed light on any areas needing improvement,” McHenry Police Chief John Birk said. “Joint training has never been more collaborative and cooperative, and this is critically important to an effective response to an active assailant incident.”

The drill also will include triaging people in need of medical care and taking them to local hospitals.

After the drill, all participating responders will meet for a post-incident analysis to review and assess capabilities and learn from all areas to improve response.

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