Army, Air National Guard take part in emergency disaster drill - KPTV - FOX 12

Army, Air National Guard take part in emergency disaster drill

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WARRENTON, OR (KPTV) -

It seems to be the hottest topic in the Northwest, preparing for a major earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone.

On Wednesday, Army and Air National Guard troops from all over Oregon gathered for the disaster drill at Camp Rilea on the coast near Warrenton.

During the drill, actors tried to portray what might really happen to give rescuers a chance to practice their response. Medical and Military personnel did house to house searches looking for survivors and people who need help.

The scene felt intense, but luckily, it was just a drill.

The disaster drill is called the Pathfinder Minuteman Exercise, the third of its kind.

Organizers said it's a time to practice bringing military and civilian resources together.

"We've realized that no one organization can come to the air of the entire state. So we need to integrate, build relationships and talk to each other. Discover some common terminology, different ways of doing business," said Lt. Col. John Graver, 302nd rescue squad, Oregon Air Reserve.

The actors wear make-up and fake blood, simulating injuries in a deserted neighborhood and under a collapsed building. 

Dr. Jon Jui works in the ER at OHSU and he's on the Oregon Disaster Medical Team. 

A broken arm or bloody gash is no problem for him, but having military back-up to get to people is essential.

"We're very, very good at what we do, but when you actually combine that with the rescue personnel, you have the magic combination and the magic juice," said Dr. Jon Jui.

"Disasters such as this are on the forefront of Oregonian's minds especially in light of recent articles in the media," said Capt. Chris Webb, 142nd medical group.

These soldiers are from the Northwest too and they know how the recent New Yorker article about a Cascadia subduction zone quake has left many of us shaken. But instead of just fearing the worst, they said they're preparing for it.

More than 225 people participated in the 2 day training exercise.

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