Preparing for Disasters in the Suburbs Crews Test Skills at Drill
Rooney, Timothy S., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Timothy S. Rooney Daily Herald Staff Writer
Roshni Thakker, a 15-year-old Buffalo Grove High School sophomore, wanted to test herself before becoming intimately involved in tragedy.
Sunday's mass casualty disaster drill in Des Plaines offered that opportunity for the Service Over Self club member.
"I needed experience," she said much like the more than 100 others who participated in the mock train accident. "It was kind of weird to see all of the victims with the blood all over them."
Thakker participated by helping Salvation Army Emergency Canteen workers who aided both rescuers and victims, a role she might serve later in actual disasters.
"We don't normally have victims coming up for donuts," said Della Garcia, a Salvation Army disaster service associate.
Victims usually aren't walking around sharing a laugh after accidents, either.
"Victims" Mike Prosi, 31 and Bill Filpi, 28, both part-time Lake Zurich firefighters, joked after being released from the accident scene and triage area near the spur track of the Wisconsin Central Railroad by Graceland and Oakwood avenues.
The drill not only helped them practice, it introduced them to emergency workers from other towns who might work side-by-side with them in actual emergencies.
"It was nice to see how another department does it," Prosi said. "These departments are some that may help out our department."
Ten suburban departments including Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Elk Grove Village and Arlington Heights participated in the drill designed to teach rescuers how to handle commuter train accidents. …