First responders to practice tornado response

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

RICHMOND – Richmond residents may wake up to the sight of volunteer firemen dragging members of the Junior Civitan Club out from under rubble.
There is no need to panic. It is just a drill.
The Richmond Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a tornado drill for all first responders in the Lee County area Saturday.
At 7:30 a.m., a dispatcher will announce a tornado warning through the Lee County E-911 network.
“Around 10 minutes until eight, we will respond, ‘We have a tornado that has touched down with destruction in the area between County Roads 806 and 1581,’” said Richmond Fire Chief Joe Banik.
Representatives of North Mississippi Medical Center’s ambulance service, Lee County Coroner’s Office, Lee County’s volunteer fire departments and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office will be among the first responders participating in the drill.
“This is something we’ve been needing to do for many years and haven’t been able to put together a good drill for first responders,” Banik said.
He said the drill will let first responders know who they can expect to work with and how they can expect to perform their duties in the event of a tornado or disaster. All responders will check in at the command center on Highway 371 and receive their assignments.
“We will have volunteers acting as victims and dummies stuck under trees so the responders can practice extricating and taking the victims to the triage area,” Banik said.
After the drill, the volunteers will be served lunch by Crop Production Services.
jb.clark@journalinc.com