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City prepares for mass disaster drill

Marshall Allen

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE -- Emergency Services Coordinator Andrew Pachon

is busy preparing a disaster -- a mock disaster -- for La Canada



A citywide disaster drill is being planned for April 4 in accordance

with Earthquake Preparedness Month. In the mock incident, a 6.5-magnitude

earthquake will wreak havoc on local cities. The drill will involve

hundreds of volunteers and emergency services personnel and dozens of


local organizations, including the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station,

Los Angeles Fire Department, JPL and local businesses.

It’s been several years since the city has done an exercise of this

size, said Pachon, who wants residents to know the city is doing all it

can to prepare for a real emergency.

“This is the time when we put it all together and test these response

methods,” he said.

To be as similar to reality as possible, the drill will include a


“Mass Casualty Incident,” Pachon said. The incident will involve dozens

of high school drama students, made up with fake blood and pretending to

be injured. The students will be aided by emergency medical personnel and

transported via ambulance to Verdugo Hills Hospital, where they’ll be

treated, Pachon said.

Deputy Dan Connolly of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station said law

enforcement and emergency personnel are trying to be proactive about

emergencies in what is a reactive business.


“It brings to light the reality,” he said. “This gives you an idea of

what you’re going to run across in a specific scenario.”

For more information, or to volunteer as a mock-victim or as a runner,

call Andrew Pachon at City Hall, 790-8880, ext. 123.