City Wants Volunteers to Play Disaster Victims
Annapolis will conduct an emergency preparedness drill Aug. 14, and its looking for people to spend a few hours pretending they are injured, dead or in need of rescue.
Annapolis is looking for about 100 people to play pretend victims in a citywide mock disaster on Aug. 14.
The emergency evacuation drill is aimed at testing the preparedness of city police, fire, politicians and the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Risk Management (OEM).
"I’m not even going to tell you all what’s going to happen," OEM Director Kevin Simmons said. "It could be a terrorist event, a hurricane an earthquake."
Approximately 20 to 25 volunteers will be taken to an undisclosed location Aug. 14 to play the dead and injured in a mock mass casualty event. The remainder will play evacuees and be transported from different areas around Annapolis to the Pip Moyer Community Recreation Center—the site the city plans to use for evacuations in the future.
The entire drill will run from 7 a.m. until about 3 p.m., and the city will feed all the volunteers.
"We want to challenge the city in a way it's never been challenged before," Simmons said. "We purposely by design have the mayor somewhere else. We want to see how an acting mayor and the department heads would respond to a disaster."
The mayor will still be playing along. He has a prepared script and will be calling in sometime during the day.
Another twist this year will be business owners who are playing along.
"We don’t often think about the effect that an emergency would have on a business," Simmons said. "We wanted to throw some challenges at everybody from a business standpoint."
Last year's drill was a mock hurricane. Simmons said it was extremely helpful because his team quickly realized a problem with the city's outdated communication systems, which failed shortly after the drill started.
Simmons said he hopes each annual drill helps his team find weaknesses in their emergency plans that can be imprvoed upon before an actual disaster strikes.
Residents looking to play along should contact Rick Hoffman at 410-216-9167.