How would fire responders react if the unthinkable happened one day and two trains collided in St. James?
The devastation and carnage would probably be immense. But officials from Long Island Railroad and the Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management along with about 50 members of the St. James Fire Department set up a practice drill to make sure they were prepared to handle just such an emergency.
Disaster response training was held on the train tracks just east of the St. James train station on Sunday morning simulating a train versus train collision, according to a department representative.
Fire Department Juniors ranging in age from 10 to 17-years-old were placed in train cars to pose as victims in need of rescue, each holding a card detailing their injuries. A triage area was set up and EMS workers practiced evaluating injuries and treating patients.
Some of the cars were even filled with smoke to the point where responders could not see more than one foot in front of them, said the representative in an email to Patch describing the training. Dummies were also placed throughout that car that had to be located and rescued.
The training is important said the representative.
“This is the type of thing the St James. Fire Department trains on to be prepared should a catastrophy occur,” he said.