Disaster drill held ahead of Fort Massac Encampment - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Disaster drill held ahead of Fort Massac Encampment

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METROPOLIS, Ill. -- Organizers of the annual Fort Massac Encampment expect thousands of people in Metropolis this weekend, and while they don't expect anything to go wrong, they say it's always best to prepare for the worst.

Officials simulated a car running through a crowd of children Friday.

"There's nothing that says southern Illinois can't be the victim of a terrorist attack or just some person who has a heart attack while they're driving," Metropolis public safety director Harry Masse said. "We're expecting 300,000 people over the weekend at this one event so we'd be silly not to train for the worst and hope for the best."

Mary Connelly is director of the Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team, the group that coordinated Friday's test.

"It's an opportunity for us to work our equipment, do some training," Connelly said. "And then the second part of it is almost as a rehearsal if something should actually happen Saturday or Sunday. We've already walked through those essential, basic elements of how do we communicate with each other, how do we get patients to the hospital."

They got a group of kids from the area to play victims.

"It was pretty fun," Elijah Renner of Metropolis said. "Honestly, I've never pretended to be injured before."

"It was really, really nerve wracking," Tyler Cramner of Metropolis said. "It blew my mind."

And even though it was just a test, officials say they always need to be alert.

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