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Smoke, But No Fire

Sonora, CA — Where there’s smoke, doesn’t necessarily mean there’s fire. You might see a lot of commotion on Sonora High’s campus Saturday, but don’t be alarmed by all the emergency crews and smoke…..It may look like a major catastrophe, but it’s just a student’s senior project.


Senior Austin Lunde is the master mind behind the Mass Casualty Incident Drill. He is working with CAL Fire, Emergency crews and Sonora Regional Medical center to coordinate the mock disaster.


Lunde says, “People will see a lot of fire engines and ambulances in the area as well as a helicopter flying over. You also may see smoke coming out of the Centennial Hall and humanities buildings. It is just fake smoke produced by fog machines.”


There will be about 100 emergency responders rushing around trying to rescue 20 volunteer mock victims, some trapped in the buildings. Those victims will be covered in fake blood and suffering from numerous injuries and some will be taken by ambulance to the hospital.


“The purpose of the drill is to prepare the school and all the fire and EMS agencies that respond to a possible incident of this size. It’s a very large scale incident. We’re looking at 20 victims that need to be rescued. It’s something we need to be prepared for in the future and it will test the systems that are in place by Sonora High School of how they would respond to the incident as well.”


So why take on such an ambitious project? Lunde says, “I want to be a fire fighter. I looked at how I can help improve training throughout the county, so I choose to do this drill. It will help be a learning experience for not only me, but all involved.”


The drill will start at 9am and run until around 2pm.


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