BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Teams of first responders had no idea what they were walking into Wednesday morning on University at Buffalo’s South Campus.
A couple of parking lots were transformed into an active emergency scene, complete with actors posing as injured patients.
“It’s not a surprise that we’re doing an exercise and who’s playing, but they’re going to come rolling onto the scene and really not know what to expect other than what they were told when they were dispatched,” said Jay Roorbach, Senior Emergency Planning Coordinator at UB.
The exercise was designed to test collaboration and response times between UB and other area agencies like the Buffalo Fire Department, Buffalo Police, the Erie County Health Department, Erie County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Amherst Emergency Service, and even the FBI.
However. this exercise included an added twist.
“This is the first drill where we’ve had a large scale hazardous materials component,” UB’s Chief of Police Joshua Sticht told us.
Drills in the past have included active shooter situations as a campus crisis. Roorbach said this is the next step in the chain; making sure the help knows how to talk to each other in the event of a crisis.
“They are truly first responders, along with our departments. It’s a complete collaboration,” he said.
But the test didn’t end at UB; the first responders had to see their patients, who underwent extensive make-up to play the part, through to the end.
“We’re going to test the hazardous materials response and then also transport those victims all the way to Buffalo Genera,” said Chief Sticht.
A UB spokesperson told News 4 the groups of first responders met following the exercise to see how they could improve in the future. Overall, the University said the drill was a success.