Emergency crews hold disaster drill in New Carlisle

Police and fire crews often have just minutes to save lives during an emergency. First responders in New Carlisle are putting their skills to work even before disaster strikes.

Plenty of flashing emergency lights filled the street in downtown New Carlisle Monday night. And, while fire trucks usually signal trouble, their presence on the block was all about preventing it.

"What we want from our guys is when or if any of these buildings catch fire, they know exactly how we pre-plan the situation so we can get it put out," said New Carlisle Fire Chief Josh Schweizer.

The town's emergency services teamed up to act out what must happen in a time of crisis.

"It would be second nature, real easy," Police Chief Jeff Roseboom said. "We know what everyone is supposed to do and what each division is going to do."

In Monday's scenario, multiple downtown buildings were on fire.

Though the guidelines to deal with disaster can be outlined in a classroom, Roseboom said going through the motions makes it a better learning experience.

"We all got together and decided that hands on training was better," Roseboom said. "we are using the equipment to orient us and keep us up to date on techniques."

The crews followed protocol and closed down a stretch of U.S. 20 for about three hours.

"This pre-plan here makes everything mesh," Schweizer said. "So, as a team, we are very cohesive."

There were firefighters preparing the hoses, police guarding the street and EMS on standby for potential victims.

The drill included testing the town's water supply to ensure there is enough to handle a large-scale fire.

"It is not just the rescue techniques," Roseboom said. "but also, how to approach the buildings, and also to apply water, where they would get the water supply."

The entire effort aims to ensure that in a time of disaster, there is no need for hesitation.

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