Realistic disaster training at mine is insurance policy

The headline package that dominated Thursday’s front page probably said it best: “It’s not real – but they train like it is.”

The story detailed disaster training coordinated in support of the Eagle Mine in Marquette County.

The training included fabricated injuries — Westwood High School student volunteers acted the part of distressed and injured victims of an emergency event at the mill in Humboldt Township, and calls were made to participating emergency response agencies, a Mining Journal story on the matter stated.

“We’re basically starting from the initial care and assessment of the injuries through the whole process all the way to the hospital,” Dale Hittle, health and safety supervisor for Eagle Mine, said in the Journal story. “Here on-site we have our emergency response team. They’re volunteers from our hourly workforce that volunteer to go through training to respond to different scenarios. We also have our security personnel. They are EMT trained, and so we have medical response right here on-site, so we’re able to give assistance to people before the community systems are able to arrive.”

Although Hittle said the Eagle Mine team trains monthly to stay well prepared in case of an emergency, this is the first time the entire response community was involved.

And by all accounts, it was very successful.

We applaud Eagle Mine and the rest of the Marquette County responders with doing an outstanding job during the training exercise.

We sincerely hope you never have to put the experiernce to use. But if you do, at least you’ll be prepared.