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Q&A With Doug Dodge - Mass Casualty Training

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Multi-Agency Mass Casualty Training Recap

Question and Answers with Clancy Fire Fighter Doug Dodge FF Doug Dodge

Clancy Fire Fighter Doug Dodge recently attended a rare training event in Montana City involving several local first-responder agencies. The drill involved incidents where multiple casualties may be encountered, and allowed the different units to strategize and practice together. The Clancy VFD Newsletter took the opportunity to discuss the training with Doug.

Clancy VFD Newsletter: Congratulations on the training, Doug. What local agencies participated?

Doug Dodge: It was an awesome day-long event, with broad participation from Jefferson City VFD, Montana City VFD, Eagle ambulance, Boulder ambulance, MT highway patrol, and the Jefferson County Sherriff. The life flight out of Belgrade was planning to come, but the weather down there precluded them from taking off.

CVFDN: Did other Clancy members go, too?

Doug: Clancy was represented by Mike (Goehring), Jason Johnson and myself in Tender 2.

CVFDN: Tell us a little about what you guys had to do.

Doug: We simulated an incident in which five vehicles, including an ambulance, were involved in an accident. Victims had to be extricated, assessed and triaged. Our role was to stabilize the vehicles and aid in extrication. We brought the sawzall along and gave it a good workout, along with the stabilization chalks that Mike helped make. Montana City let us use their Engine one as our 'structure one' during the response, and other than a hiccup getting their generator started, our response went smoothly.

Anyway, Eagle provided all of us a great lunch, and at the end of the day we had a little fun and torched one of Eagle's old ambulances.

CVFDN: What were you able to take away from the training that will help the department?

Doug: It quickly became apparent that even with all agencies responding, an event of this magnitude (5 vehicles doesn't seem like much but I'd hate to imagine any more) stretched us all pretty thin. Still, in my opinion the cooperation was outstanding, as all agencies really worked well together. Joint training like this is really a neat opportunity, and I hope we can continue to explore opportunities such as these. We also had the opportunity to use some of Montana City's extrication equipment, which is an invaluable asset to our area. Even some situations that looked as if they could be handled by a sawzall proved us wrong, and it was crucial to have that equipment available. All the more reason to always get those guys rolling even if we don't think we'll need it. As far as our response for a call for mutual aid, I can't imagine being much use unless we roll in Structure One, unless of course water is all they need. There is just too much stuff that we have on that apparatus that is invaluable on a highway incident. I don't know if that is part of our mutual aid agreement or not, but that's my two cents.

CVFDN: Do you think the Clancy department is ready for an event like this?

Doug: There are a few low cost items I think we could get to better prepare us for MVA incidents. I'd like to see us have some blankets for victims. It wasn't terrible out (the day of the training), but the wind along with the 40 degree temps challenged us in stabilizing our victims, plus the supplies the other apparatus had just wasn't enough. I'd also like to see us get some sterile glove holding brackets that screw to the doors of the apparatus. Montana City has them on each door in each apparatus, and boy are they are handy (and cheap, I think 10 bucks a piece). Anyway, that is all I can think of at the moment.

CVFDN: Thanks, Doug, for attending the training and letting us all know what you thought.


Multi-Agency Mass Casualty Training Multi-Agency Mass Casualty Training