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By Marc Lutz
Wrangell Sentinel 

Drill readies emergency responders for real events


April 27, 2022

Marc Lutz/Wrangell Sentinel

Volunteer Sage Smiley is treated for "severe back pain" by volunteer firefighter Chris Guggenbickler during a tri-annual fire drill held by the state Department of Transportation and Wrangell Fire Department last Wednesday on the north side of the airport. Smiley was one of 29 volunteers who portrayed victims of a plane crash. Emergency responders tended to the victims spread out on the ground and in the rocks, and put out a fire as part of the mandatory drill.

Bodies were strewn throughout the rocks north of the Wrangell Airport, the site of a grisly airplane wreck. Cries for help could be heard here and there. Bloodied victims wandered aimlessly.

Every three years, the state Department of Transportation requires a drill to prepare emergency responders in the case of a real disaster. Last Wednesday, approximately 25 firefighters and EMTs treated volunteer victims during a mock plane crash, complete with fiery wreckage and triage stations.

Before the drill began, Capt. Dorianne Sprehe of the Wrangell Fire Department instructed a group of 28 adults...

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