Are Charlotte first responders prepared for a mass casualty event?

By Sarah Batista - bio | email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte emergency responders are examining their response training after two mass casualty situations captured national attention this week.

"We're ready, as ready as anyone can be," said Chief Dale Greene.

Major Dale Greene heads up the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Special Operations Unit.

He's the go-to guy in the case of a mass casualty crisis, such as the mass shooting Thursday in Fort Hood, Texas.

He says being prepared involves pulling together your resources.

"SWAT, bomb, aviation, canine, all of those resources would be alerted and notified and respond accordingly," said Greene.

The most recent accident requiring a mass response in Charlotte was last April when a school bus overturned on Interstate 77.  At least 60 people were hurt. Police joined fire and medic crews to quickly assess the scene.

"That was a great demonstration about how the three agencies work together to support whatever the situation is," said Deputy Chief Jeff Dulin of the Charlotte Fire Department.

Charlotte Medic also has two mass casualty buses. Each holds up to 22 patients which helps to limit the number of ambulances at a scene.

Officials say they hold emergency drills every few months in preparation for a mass casualty event.

"No matter what the situation, we're working together and we're prepared for it," said Dulin.