Have you had the desire to go deep behind the scenes of a weapons of mass destruction training exercise?
Horry County authorities are looking for volunteers to help with such an exercise next week that will help police, fire and emergency officials be better prepared for such a disaster.
Volunteers will act as “casualties” in the 2012 South Carolina Weapons of Mass Destruction Specialized Response Team exercise that will begin Monday and end July 13, said Horry County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Leslie Yancey.
Volunteers are needed to play the role of unarmed victims and students in various scenarios, and members of churches and civic groups as well as area residents are encouraged to participate, Yancey said.
Officials from across the state will be in Horry County to “test the interoperability of specialized response teams in the event of an actual terrorist event in our state,” Yancey said in a statement.
Volunteers will be needed in two locations to play the role of victims throughout the week. Participants also may be soaked with water and given instructions about being casualties of various injuries.
“We want everybody to walk away feeling like they were a part of something and feeling like they have a better understanding of what emergency and public safety is about,” said Matthew Smith, Horry County Fire Rescue’s chief of medical training. “We want to be able to bring citizens in and show them this is how hard we work for you and this is what we do for them.”
The exercise, which is called Operation Four Aces, will include scenarios involving SWAT, hazardous materials, search and rescue and chemical attacks, Smith said.
So far, volunteers from across the state have signed up to participate with their ages ranging from 11 to 71, Smith said.
“They will carry away with them an appreciation for the amount of time, training and discipline that each one of these respected fields have put into their members to respond to an incident across our state,” Smith said.
For more information on this event or sign up to volunteer, go to www.horrycountyfirerescue.com.
Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723.