More than 40 volunteer actors helped emergency responders on the Rock Island Arsenal practice dealing with a simulated terrorist attack.
“A vehicle born I.E.D. came down the road and exploded, and we’re reacting to that. I’m a victim, I’m supposed to act a certain way, and the responders get a chance to do what they do,” says Captain Andy Burrows one of the volunteers.
The vehicle born I.E.D. was more than just a simulated explosion. It actually contained a non-harmful form of radiation.
It was first responder’s job to figure out that this was a no ordinary I.E.D., it was a dirty bomb.
“The State of Illinois actually has radiation sources and they actually brought those here so we can actually detect what sort of radioactive material we have here,” says Joel Himsl, Garrison Commander for the Rock Island Arsenal.
This drill involved more that emergency responders from the Rock Island Arsenal.
A total of 25 different agencies from outside the island all took part.
Everyone from nearby fire departments, to the F.B.I., to local hospitals are all using this mock disaster to put themselves, and their counterparts, to the test.
“I can tell you that this is one of the best examples I’ve seen of joint operations community across the board,” boasted John Ramsdell, the Arsenal’s director of emergency medical services.
“This is not just about Rock Island Arsenal, this is about our communities. We’re all in this together. The 8,000 or so that we have here on the island live in the community,” says Himsl.
The volunteers wrapped up their work by lunch time.
However the next couple days incident commanders will break down and evaluate what happened, and how to improve their procedures.