Realistic ‘disaster’ rocks Downtown Brooklyn street
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
DOWNTOWN – Cadman Plaza East exploded into flames Tuesday night, leaving screaming victims with multiple injuries.
But it was only a test.
“I’m in pain!” a man yelled from the smoke-shrouded sidewalk behind the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) building. Another, on the ground next to several dummy bodies, cried, “Help me! I’ve got bones sticking out.” A third man wandered around flapping his hands, saying nothing.
It was all part of the intensive training Community Emergency Response Teams receive from FDNY and NYPD.
Response Teams responded quickly, treating the injured, putting out the flames and directing startled passers-by around the “disaster” – a realistic simulation staged by OEM.
Team members support the work of professional first responders, said FDNY’s Lt. Joe Depperman of Ladder Co. 170, overseeing the training event with Ladder 170's Lt. Bill Croak.
“In this disaster simulation, members view different scenarios,” he said. “It’s a 10-week course, three hours a night, one night a week. The teams are from all over the city.”
Depperman said that each team is affiliated with a community board.
According to OEM, training provides basic response skills needed for fire safety, light search and rescue, disaster medical operations and traffic control. Training is held twice a year throughout the city. Visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/get_prepared/cert.shtml to learn more.