On Fort Drum, it's important to be ready to responde at a moment's notice. But as YNN's Brian Dwyer reports, without a hospital on base, everyone must be prepared. DISCLAIMER: Some of the training video is graphic, please note, it is not real.
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- They say practice makes perfect, but any leader will tell you its actually perfect practice that makes perfect.
When lives are potentially on the line, the mass casualty training event on Fort Drum must be perfect. The training was held on Thursday.
"We do this to be prepared so that if it does happen here, we've got a very well synchronized and coordinated team," Fort Drum Plans and Exercise Officer John Simard said.
For this event, a shooter opens fire on a group of off-duty soldiers at a barbecue. The shooter then gets away, takes a hostage, and has explosives.
There's such a mix of events, everyone, especially rescue crews, can work on something and it all has an unfortunate realism.
"If you look at what's going on outside the gates, there's active shooter situations all over the country. This is a great scenario for us," Simard said
However, because Fort Drum doesn't have its own hospital, the coordination efforts have to go one step further. The local emergency rooms in Watertown and Carthage play a huge role.
"It gives us the training for our staff and what we have available on a given date and a given time. We are more comfortable when something does happen. If a tragedy does happen on Fort Drum, we'd be able to handle it," Carthage Area Hospital Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Thomas Jaconski said.
The hospital staff said its a great feeling to know they are in a position to help those who sacrifice so much.
Fort Drum also relies on the help of the local community's ambulance crews to respond to its emergency situations.