WANTAGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Warmer temperatures mean outdoor concerts and cookouts, and first responders on Long Island were getting some special training Sunday in the wake of recent terrorist attacks involving trucks plowing through crowds.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, 86 people died when a man drove a truck through crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France last summer. In December, a truck plowing through a Berlin Christmas market killed 12 people.
On Sunday, Nassau County fire departments, police and hospitals were preparing for such a threat.
“Unfortunately in today’s day and age, across the country and across the world, these are real incidents,” said Dr. Victor Politi, president and chief executive officer of Nassau County Medical Center.
Officials set up a scenario in which a box truck crashes through crowds outside the Jones Beach Theater on a hot summer day. Volunteers playing victims were covered in fake blood and bandages, while about 200 firefighters and EMTs had to react.
“It’s always better to be prepared before the event than playing catch up,” said Kevin Regan of the Wantagh Fire Department.
The details are convincing – down to the overturned cars and even fake bullet holes.
“It’s set up like a real disaster – you know, the fire departments are notified. They respond in,” Politi said.
From the scene, the victims are taken to Nassau University Medical Center to be treated by doctors and nurses who don’t know they are coming.
“We’re going to overwhelm that ER today. We’re going to send 50 patients in there and see how they do when they’re really stressed,” Politi said.
So as summer approaches and your time spent inside wanes, Nassau County emergency responders are prepared for a day they hope never comes.