Simulated terrorist attack helps prepare local first responders

Simulated terrorist attack helps prepare local first responders

Amarillo - A simulated terrorist attack was played out in the streets of Downtown Amarillo, Wednesday morning.

It's all about being prepared, which is why first responders and volunteers participated in today's emergency drill.

"This is a major exercise. We have probably somewhere in the range of 2,500 responders from the field and from the hospitals around here who are actually playing in the exercise today," Amarillo Emergency Management Coordinator, Kevin Starbuck said.

Over 200 volunteers also played along, acting as victims.

"This is easily the largest simulation in the 17 years that I've been involved in emergency management," Starbuck told us.

Everything that was done, from helping wounded victims, to clearing the building, and transporting people to area hospitals, was to make sure first responders are prepared.

"It puts a good perspective on where everybody is at. We all have our training and our specialities in what we do when a situation occurs and this is kinds brining all the entities together," said Captain Jacob Oehlert with the Amarillo Fire Department.

"Given incidents like we've seen in Boston and other places across the country, it's very important we prepare our first responders for it," Starbuck added.

Responders tell us the practice is a great way to evaluate what needs to be addressed in the future.

Colleen Nelson - NewsChannel 10