By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Several scenarios were set up for Troop 223’s semi-annual Disaster Preparedness Night on Saturday, November 16, in The Huntington. Troop 223 is a premier scout troop, and has approximately 120 boys and 30 girls.
The Scouts gathered at 5:30 p.m. for Disaster Night, a simulated training for them to apply their first aid skills, and made their way through the neighborhood for site rotations.
Disaster Night is designed to help Troop 223 fulfill their scout motto, “be prepared,” and their commitment to serve others, something they have worked toward for 67 years, Mike Lanning, Scoutmaster of Troop 223, said to the Palisadian-Post.
This year there were multiple scenarios, including a chainsaw accident, a pool drowning, car crashes and more. Bill Wilson, lead Assistant Scoutmaster for the event, told the Post that the disaster scenarios have evolved over the years, and a great effort is made to prepare these scenes with as much realism as possible.
Certified scuba divers were present and rescued from the bottom of pools, real crashed cars were enhanced by smoke machines and placed in the street. Volunteers were also made-up with realistic wounds to look like accident victims.
In addition to the graphic scenes, real first responders, such as the Los Angeles Fire and Police Departments, were there to respond authentically with lights and sirens.
The senior scouts were instrumental in leading Disaster Night. Senior scouts were stationed at each accident and responsible for scoring the younger scouts as they assessed the scenes. The younger scouts were not only scored by senior scouts, but also given feedback by the emergency responders that were on site—the sheriff’s office, lifeguards, police and more.
All emergency simulations at the event, 911 notifications and victim treatment were handled by the eight-person patrol while being guided by their patrol leader.
“It’s really an extraordinary group of young men and women that lead Troop 223 and it’s an honor to be associated with them,” Andy Hubsch, an Assistant Scoutmaster, said. “I think all of the young men and women of the Troop had a tremendous, and maybe someday life-saving, experience due to our collective efforts.”
Hubsch structured the training regimen for the Scouts, created the rotation layout, secured and trained both adults and scouts to help run the entire evening.
Disaster night has been a community event for over 30 years, and everybody is allowed to attend and watch the event.