What if a street is lined with people, excited to watch a parade? And what if a car plows through barriers and crashes into those pedestrians?
It's a scene the state has seen before, but one that Rogers County emergency responders hope they'll never have to face.
This week they conducted an emergency response drill using that scenario — just in case.
Agencies that participated in the drill included: Claremore Police Department, Claremore Fire Department, Rogers County Sheriff’s Office, Hillcrest Hospital, Claremore Indian Health Services Hospital, Rogers County Emergency Management Services, Pafford Ambulance, Oologah-Talala EMS, Air Evac, Tulsa Life Flight, Community Home Health, Grace Hospice Tulsa, Rogers State University, and American Red Cross.
"The annual emergency preparedness drill fulfills federal training requirements from hospitals and some health agencies. Additionally, it allows law enforcement, emergency responders and the medical community to practice responses during major crisis events, as well as strengthening working relationships between all the organizations involved in the exercise," said David Hamby, the Director of Public Relations for Rogers State University.
"More than 20 students from RSU’s Emergency Medical Services/EMT program portrayed the victims during the incident with injuries ranging from minor cuts and scrapes to major injuries, including some fatalities. It serves as an opportunity for students to get first-hand experience during emergency situations."
Cpt. Milburn Litterell of Claremore Police Department said the drill was a good exercise for the department.
"The scenario is still on people's minds after Stillwater. And we have a lot of parades here in town so it's plausible it could happen here. Any time we get a chance to practice interacting with other agencies is a good thing," Litterell said, adding that this was a good way to practice communication between all agencies involved.
Litterell said, "It is good for us to see what the medical responders will have to do, and good for them to see what we're going to have to do. From our perspective, our first concern is that we have a crime scene. In a perfect world we would secure that crime scene. We wouldn't let anybody in or out, but that's not realistic when you have injured people to take care of. So those medical responders are going to come into our crime scene.They're going to destroy our crime scene doing their job—and they have to."
He said one element they couldn't simulate was the presence of spectators.
While they couldn't find a way to simulate the spectators, he said they still discussed it has a department and talked about how that element would factor in to their response.