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Chicago Firefighters Simulate Extra Alarm Fire at Willis Tower, Not An Ordinary Fire Drill

Mon May 19 2014 6:41 pm
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Hundreds of firefighters participated in a drill at Willis Tower starting about 9:15 a.m. Sunday. Fire engines and ladder trucks were on the scene, and firefighters carried actual equipment in full bunker gear in a simulated response to a fire on the 51st floor. Firefighters did not know the script of the simulated emergency, but what started as an simulated automatic alarm progressed all the way to a 3-11 alarm fire. The first report that there was real trouble in the simulated emergency was a report of smoke from staff inside Willis Tower. Then multiple “reports of smoke” were received. Fire command then started elevating the response from a Still and Box/EMS Plan 1 to a 2-11 alarm and then a 3-11 alarm at about 10:19 a.m.

Two people were even reported trapped in a copier room with smoke infiltrating under the door. There was also reported of people who tried to get down a stairwell, but were turned back by smoke. Firefighters were assigned to respond to rescue people that were reported trapped.

The fire was reported out at 10:38 a.m. The fire communications van announced at 10:39 a.m. that that one victim code red was transported to a hospital, 15 victims code yellow were transported to hospital, and three victims code green were in the treatment area.

The final simulated casualty report involved 19 total transports with two victims code red, 14 victims code yellow, two victims code green, and two DOAs. The 3-11 was struck out at 11:07 a.m. and firefighters and EMS personnel consisting of over 200 members and 60 fire companies summarized their work in the lobby.

Chicago Fire Department maintains communication with news media with full knowledge that Chicago news media monitor Chicago Fire Department communications. Chicago Fire Department used twitter to alert media that the messages heard on radios were part of a drill.

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