First responders hold mock disaster drill in Park Forest

On Wednesday, first responders in a south suburb held a mock disaster drill.

FOX 32 was given an inside look at how they plan.

It was only a drill, but a realistic one. More and more municipalities are deciding to practice active shooter situations - how they would respond, who they would reach out to and how fast they can set up triage.

The Las Vegas massacre, and so many other deadly incidents, have first responders preparing their own plan of attack.

“When a major incident happens we have to work together and the time to figure out how that relationship is going to work is not during the incident, it’s before it ever happens,” said Park Forest police chief Christopher Mannino.

Park Forest staged an active shooter simulation taking place at a summertime music festival.  

The drill included an offender driving through a field filled with concertgoers striking several of them and shooting at them. Thirteen in all were wounded as the suspect flees to a nearby home for shelter. 

“Those first five minutes are really critical and they set the tone for the rest of the event. There's a lot of communicating going on there's. A lot of uncertainty,” Mannino said.

But despite the uncertainty, the communication flow begins between local responders and multi-jurisdictional groups like Cook County Homeland Xecurity and the regional SWAT team, who all met Wednesday morning to play out the scenario. 

Local residents play in integral role during disasters. In Park Forest and surrounding areas, you can sign up for an emergency alert system.

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