Emergency responder's incorporate zombies and aliens in training drill

MOSCOW, ID - After about six months of prep work, The Moscow Volunteer Fire Department teamed up with emergency responders from all over Latah County to hold a "Zombie UFO Crash Disaster."

Palouse Reporter Rachel Dubrovin tells us about the emergency responder's tactics, and why they chose to incorporate zombies and aliens into the training.

Shortly after 9:00 on Saturday morning, a "Zombie UFO Crash" occurred at Moscow High School, leaving about 40 volunteer casualties in need of medical help. Of course, it was all part of a drill for Latah County's emergency responders.

"We wanted to lighten things up, make it silly," said Moscow Volunteer Fire Department Division Chief Dave Reynolds. "And we knew that everyone knew that Zombies weren't real so we figured that was a pretty safe thing to put out there."

The Moscow Police Department entered the building first to neutralize any threats.

"What we did is we came in, kind of swept the floors, looking for the bad guys, talking with the victims, finding out who was really seriously hurt," said Moscow Police Lieutenant Paul Kwiatkowski.

"The gentleman with the handcuffs on, he would be one of the bad guys who's already been secured by the law enforcement officers," said Reynolds.

Paramedics used a triage system to categorize how badly each person was injured.

"Triage is all about getting the critical patients the care they need first," said Moscow Volunteer Fire Department Paramedic Rick Andersen.

Volunteer casualties were given either a green, yellow, or red triage tag.

"Two fingers had been shot off, so I was a green status," said U of I student Cody Earl.

"The first thing we do is determine who is what we call the 'Walking Wounded' and we give them a green tag, and we escort them out of the building," said Andersen.

More severely injured patients get yellow triage tags, and the most critically wounded are marked with a red tag so they receive immediate attention.

"Paramedic-level care on scene, rapid transport to the triage center at the hospital," said Andersen.

Even though the supernatural theme lightened the mood, the drill helped prepare emergency responders for a real mass casualty event.

Everyone that participated in the drill was volunteering their time, and most of the volunteer casualties were Moscow High School students.