Don’t worry, it’s just a practice; First responders will hold a training exercise next week


WORLAND — Motorists passing through the Washakie 10 and US 20 area Tuesday night need not be alarmed if they see a slew of first aid vehicles in the area in response to a major accident.

They’re just preparing for the real thing.

This is part of a joint exercise between many area first response agencies including Cody Regional Ambulance, Washakie Medical Center, Washakie County Sheriff’s Office, Worland Fire Department, Guardian Flight, Ten Sleep Ambulance, Manderson Fire, Washakie County Emergency Management, Cloud Peak Counseling and the Wyoming Highway Patrol.

Worland Fire Chief Chris Kocher said the exercise would involve a simulated vehicle collision with up to 15 volunteers injured to varying degrees.

The exercise is scheduled to take place near Washakie 10 and US 20. While the freeway will remain open, part of Washakie 10 will be closed.

Kocher said the exercise is a way to see how the different agencies involved work together if something similar happens in the real world.

“We will work to test the continuity of organizations and communications,” Kocher said. “We will work to also integrate (the helicopter) for transport.

“Essentially, by doing this, we’re working to make sure the little things that we think are taken care of are taken care of. Now is the time to find out – now, and not necessarily in a real incident.

Washakie County Emergency Management Director Kami Neighbors said the drill begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, but set-up will begin between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

“We’re actually going to be transporting (volunteer patients),” Neighbors said.

Drivers traveling in the area can expect to see smashed cars as crews prepare for training. Kocher said there will be signs in the area warning drivers not to call 911.

Once the exercise is over, the crews debrief on what went well and what could have gone better.

The exercise should end between 8 and 8:30 p.m.

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Richard V. Johnson