Red Lodge first responders hold evacuation exercise - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Red Lodge first responders hold evacuation exercise

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First responders in Red Lodge performed an evacuation exercise Saturday. Dozens of first responders from several different agencies teamed up to participate in the evacuation training.

Red Lodge Fire Chief Tom Kuntz explained what the evacuation training contained.

"We've simulated a summer event where there would be a large wildfire and in a situation where we might have to evacuate a number of homes or a subdivision," Fire Chief Kuntz said.

Fire Chief Kuntz said the simulation is based on a wildland fire scenario. Teams were split into two groups. One group would be in charge of evacuation notifications while the other would be in charge of the triage. Another simulation this exercise included was patient care.

"We have folks who may be ill or injured, people who are on homecare, or possibly in hospice," Fire Chief Kuntz said. "So we have to plan for how we're going to do. So one of the things that we did was we had an ambulance that came in as part of the exercise and the ambulance went in and they simulated a patient who would need additional assistance and would need an actual ambulance to evacuate from their home."

Will Bernard and Amy Hyfield were both participants and discuss what they liked about the exercise.

"The conversations that we had between folks of different agencies was very good and very informative," Bernard said.

"The ability to work with everybody together and get everybody on the same page was really exciting," Hyfield added.

Carbon County DES Coordinator Tom Kohley explained what the main goal was for this exercise.

"The main goal of today's training was to better prepare ourselves for an evacuation if needed," Kohley said. "Whether that's wildfire, flood, hazmat, and what other all-hazard situation."

"This is not only applicable to summer wildfires that we unfortunately do get in the Red Lodge area, but this season with such high water and so much snow, unfortunately, I think we're going to see a lot of evacuations throughout the state due to the high waters," Fire Chief Kuntz said.

Kohley said the next exercise will involve armed intruders within the school. This exercise will involve the Sheriff's Office, as well as, the schools within Carbon County.

Agencies who participated were the Red Lodge Fire Department, BLM, Forest Service, American Red Cross, Sheriff's Office, and EMS.

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