ALTON, Ill. (KMOX) – A training exercise scheduled for Tuesday in Madison County took on more urgency after last weekend’s deadly train crash in New York.
That’s because the disaster drill will focus on a simulated train derailment.
Madison County Emergency Management Deputy Director Mary Kate Malone says the drill was planned long before last week’s deadly train crash in the Bronx.
The exercise will involve agencies across a wide swath of the region.
“One of the things we’re focusing on in this exercise is pediatric care because on this side of the river, here in Illinois, we don’t have a whole lot of pediatric care facilities so a lot of them would have to be taken over to St. Louis,” Malone explains.
16 hospitals from throughout southwestern Illinois will take part in Tuesday’s exercise, which will simulate a train crash in Alton.
“We happen to be in an area where there’s a lot of passenger trains going through regularly so something like this could happen where we could have a passenger train derailment where we have a lot of patients,” Malone says.
A major focus of the drill will be inter-agency communication, identified as a hindrance that impacted response times during the September 11, 2001 attacks.