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Mock disaster tests volunteers’ training

Melisa Leadley (right) of Fort Dodge, is restrained from entering the building at 611 Sumner Ave., during a mock gas explosion with many people injured last Saturday in Humboldt. Humboldt Independent photo.

Injured and disoriented victims, hysterical relatives, a steady stream of Sumner Avenue traffic and locating people in a dark and smoky room, it was all par for the course and just a sampling of what emergency responders would face during an actual disaster.
The exercise last Saturday night in downtown Humboldt may have been pretend, but don’t tell that to Ron Vought and his group of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers from Humboldt and Webster counties. A drill to them means treating the training exercise as an actual emergency with important, potentially life-saving procedures and protocols that need to be followed.
The mock disaster, which took place shortly after 5:30 p.m. Saturday, was a simulated natural gas explosion inside the abandoned Finch buildings at 611/613 Sumner Ave.
CERT team volunteers provided traffic and crowd control, search and rescue operations, identification and basic triage of emergency disaster victims and assistance to emergency personnel.
To read a full report on the exercise and see additional photos, see the article in this week's Humboldt Independent, available for print and online subscriptions by following the links on this web site.