Volunteers and Los Angeles Fire Department officials gathered in Sylmar Saturday for a large-scale, highly-realistic drill to help prepare for a massive earthquake in Southern California.
More than 120 Community Emergency Response Team volunteers joined in the training, held at the Oakridge Mobile Home Park, which included realistic disaster scenarios complete with actors playing the parts of injured patients, complete with special effects-style injuries. Some appeared dazed, others were bleeding, pinned under debris or unconscious.
The drill provides volunteers with an opportunity to train alongside the professionals in the skills they would need in the wake of a major disaster, like a powerful earthquake in a populated area, organizers said.
"The whole idea behind the training is, in the event we have a large-scale catastrophe or disaster, these CERT teams can deploy, not only for their families, but for their neighborhoods and their communities, until first responders are able to arrive on scene," Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Cody Weireter said.
CERT members practiced search and rescue operations, triaging patients, shutting down utilities, assessing building damage and more.
The area where the drill was held was devastated by a wildfire a decade ago.