BUILDINGS COLLAPSED AND VICTIMS FOUND: FIRE CREWS SIMULATE WHAT THEY MAY FACE AFTER A DISASTER
Samoa, CA- The North Coast Region II fire and rescue crews are being evaluated during a 16-hour operational readiness exercise. The exercise will simulate what crews may face if a large earthquake hit the north coast.
This is just a drill, at the Mill Site in Samoa fire crews are practicing how to locate and remove victims from collapsed buildings. Humboldt Bay Fire Chief Ken Woods told us, "We were exercising our urban search and rescue teams and our regular on duty crews."
Woods told us crews are practicing how to respond if a 7-point-8 earthquake hit the Eureka area. Woods said, "And have the opportunity to come to a site, collapse things and have victims in place. Its just a huge opportunity for us to really utilize our skills."
From Del Norte to Marin County, over ten different fire departments showed up today. Humboldt Bay Fire Battalion Chief Ed Laidlew told us, "There are a number of different departments. They range from Marin County, Lake County, Mendocino, Sonoma, Humboldt and Del Norte."
Blue lake, Fortuna fire, and Laytonville showed up as well. Laidlew said, "For them to come along and assist us and help us its great. And on the same token if they need us we would do the same for them."
Crews from outside the area also bring in additional resources, like canine units and special tools. Woods added, "Because we are so isolated here on the north coast we rely on our partners locally but when we need an additional type of resources we have to go outside of the area."
An estimated 150 personnel participated today. Also as part of a mutual aid agreement between Northern California emergency responders crews are expected to assist during large-scale disasters.