Mass casualty exercise prepares Grants Pass Rescue Task Force

Firefighters pretend to administer aid to role-playing victims as part of a mock mass casualty drill. (Carsyn Currier/News 10)

Grants Pass Police and Fire teamed up for their third day of Rescue Task Force training Friday afternoon at Grants Pass High School.

Although Grants Pass officials have trained for mass casualty situations before, this was the first time they used real-life role players to portray victims and shooters. Jim Hamilton, Deputy Chief of Police in Grants Pass, said these actors help officials prepare for high-stress, active-assailant situations.

"This is the first time that we've done it where we have that type of training involved where it's realistic. It's not just a mannequin," said Hamilton. "We have drag dummies that we use where it says this victim has these types of injuries. These are real injuries that they're looking at. They can see if they have an open wound or a compound fracture or head wounds, and they've been doing a great job of playing those parts and putting this together."

The role players are volunteers that have been covered in fake wounds with makeup so that officials know what injuries they need medical care for.

Randy Delonge, Battalion Chief for Grants Pass Fire-Rescue, said the goal is to work with police officers to get the victims out and treated as quickly as possible. Delonge said it's unfortunate that they have to train for these types of situations, but it is important to be prepared.

"I'm a parent, and none of us want to actually wake up in the morning and have to worry about any of this. That being said, us training together for this type of stuff makes me feel better," Delonge said.

Officials say the next step is adding in ambulances and other law enforcement officials because if an active assailant situation occurs, they will be all working alongside each other.

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