Rescuers from throughout Central New York practiced how they would respond to a disaster involving 60 patients at Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport Saturday, as part of a large-scale drill designed to tax the area’s emergency response system.
The drill, dubbed the “Symphony of Disaster,” involved rescuers from Madison, Oswego and Onondaga counties and took place simultaneously at the airport, at a building slated for demolition in Syracuse and at Upstate University and Crouse hospitals. It was sponsored by the Syracuse Central New York Urban Area and made possible with a $425,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security.
In addition to police, fire and ambulance services, a variety of other agencies and organizations participated in the drill. Representatives from US Airways were there, along with Centro bus service, the American Red Cross, the Emergency Communications Amateur Radio Network and Upstate’s EMS & Disaster Medicine Physician Response Team. Volunteers were made up to play the role of victims, and manikens were used to represent those killed in the crash.
At the same time, doctors, administrators and staff at Upstate University Hospital practiced how they would care for an onslaught of patients with critical injuries and burns. And, the Syracuse Fire Department at Kennedy Square.
“The things we challenged people to do today were really beyond their comfort level. We call it a high stress-low frequency event,” Syracuse Fire Department Capt. Terry Krom said during the debriefing at the airport.
Learn more about Upstate’s EMS & Disaster Medicine Physician Response Team.
See more photos from the disaster scenes.