This is a drill: Fox Valley first responders train for multi-car pileup

Published: Apr. 13, 2019 at 3:26 PM CDT
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Images of car after car piled up along Interstate 41 in Winnebago County in February remind first responders the importance of training for those types of situations.

On Saturday, Little Chute, Kimberly, Appleton and Town of Vandenbroek fire departments practiced extraction and triage skills with a 15 car mock pileup.

Little Chute Assistant Fire Chief, Duane Nechodom said the department responds to roughly 20 car crashes a year within its jurisdiction.

“We're just trying to see what works and what doesn't work and we know what to do if we do get an accident this size on the highway,” said Nechodom.

Fox Valley Metro Police also responded to the scene.

“Law enforcement typically has the first response and the last response. When we're on scene first, we're obviously there for scene safety, to make sure there's no additional vehicles that would crash into the vehicles already in the collision,” said Lt. Mark Wery of Fox Valley Metro.

ThedaStar also dropped in to help.

“We're going to have some panic victims and we're going to have one that's going to be really critical, that's the person we're going to take out and put into ThedaStar,” said Nechodom.

The Assistant Fire Chief says this training was already scheduled prior to the I-41 crash, but real life situations like that make these exercises that much more important.

“After that, we really looked into it more and really tried to cover our bases as far as what we need to do, what resources we need to have if we do get something on 41,” said Nechodom.

The departments do this training twice a year, with the main goal of keeping everyone safe.

The cars used for the exercise were borrowed from Reckers Towing in Appleton and Tim's Auto in Little Chute.

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