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First responders, health care workers to take part in 'full-scale mass casualty' disaster drill in Mitchell

Thursday's drill will entail live actors, first responders and healthcare workers to create a realistic disaster response scenario

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Mock crash victim Susan Kiepke is carried away from a gas truck while taking part in a Davison County Emergency Management training exercise in 2017 at the Pepsi Cola Soccer Complex in Mitchell.
Mitchell Republic file photo
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MITCHELL — Ambulances, emergency vehicles and first responders will be swarming some of Mitchell’s health care facilities and city buildings on Thursday as part of a routine disaster exercise.

The drill will entail live actors, first responders and health care workers to create a realistic disaster response scenario. The purpose of the exercise is to prepare local first responders and health care workers to manage potential disaster scenarios that could occur in the future.

Thursday’s disaster exercise will begin at 10 a.m. at Firesteel Healthcare Center, according to Davison County Emergency Manager Jeff Bathke. The Firesteel Healthcare Center portion of the disaster drill will simulate a “full-scale mass casualty” scenario, according to Bathke. Officials are asking people to avoid the Firesteel Healthcare Center area, located at 1120 E. Seventh Ave., throughout much of Thursday during the drill.

Among the local health care facilities where the exercise will take place are Avera Queen of Peace hospital, Avera Brady and Rehab and Firesteel Healthcare Community.

In addition, the Mitchell Department of Public Safety and Davison County Emergency Management Office will be included in the drill.


Officials involved in Thursday’s exercise are requesting cooperation from the public, along with spreading awareness of the scheduled drill to reduce potential panic among Mitchell and area residents.

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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