An exercise to test the effectiveness of first responders during a mass casualty event will be held next week in Riverside, and organizers are spreading the word early so that the public will not be alarmed by the sight of fire engines and police cars swarming the area during the simulation.
The Riverside Police and Fire departments will jointly conduct the training drill Wednesday morning at Bourns Engineering Inc., near Hunter Park, in the 1200 block of Columbia Avenue, according to Officer Ryan Railsback.
“The drill will simulate a mass casualty event and will be designed to appear as realistic as possible,” Railsback said. “Members of the public are asked to keep in mind that a drill is taking place that day and not become alarmed if (they) see a large number of police and fire vehicles, as well as ambulances and other emergency response vehicles, grouped together in larger numbers.”
The simulation will focus on the dangers and consequences of an “active shooter” in a densely populated area.
According to Railsback, about 150 people will be taking part, some playing the roles of victims and witnesses, replicating conditions of individuals with severe gunshot wounds. There will also be simulated fatalities.
“Makeup will be utilized to make their injuries appear real, in order to make the drill as effective as possible,” Railsback said.
The “patients” will be treated at the scene or transported to hospitals.
The exercise will require temporary traffic diversions in the immediate area, so motorists trying to access portions of Hunter Park should be prepared for brief delays, or seek out alternate routes.
Spectators will not be admitted to the training area but can observe from a distance.
Anyone with questions or concerns was asked to contact fire Capt. Brian Guzzetta at (951) 320-8190.
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