Hilo hosts emergency preparedness exercise for National Guard and emergency medical responders

The Hawaii National Guard and Hilo Medical Center organized an emergency response simulation exercise last week that included a chemical terrorist attack at Edith Kanakaole Tennis Stadium in Hilo, Hawaii.

The exercise included two chemical explosions, taking place at the north and south ends of the stadium. Emergency response teams were fully dressed in protective gear and carried out more than two dozen volunteers, who pretended to be injured or suffering from dangerous chemical exposure, West Hawaii Today reports.

"There is tremendous value to exercises like this," County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said, according to West Hawaii Today. "It allows us to work together and get familiar with one another's operations."

Oliveira said the exercise went well and believed it was valuable to collaborate multilaterally with other response organizations on the island.

While emergency first responders rescued victims from the explosions within the stadium, emergency personnel from the Hilo Medical Center attended to the victims' wounds, treating approximately 18 patients injured from the attack, West Hawaii Today reports.

"I think Hilo is a location where we could see more emergencies," Human Resources Director Holly Kaakimaka said, according to West Hawaii Today. "[These exercises can help us be] prepared in the event something really happens."

The county's Civil Defense's emergency operations center team, emergency medical teams from Hilo Medical Center's triage locations and emergency responders from the Hawaii National Guard participated in the exercise.