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Disaster drill looks like the real thing at Hamilton College

By GARY LIBERATORE

CLINTON, N.Y.(WKTV) Parts of Hamilton College looked like they were on lockdown on Monday from 9 A.M. to around noon, but the very large police presence was all just a very real looking drill.

Steve Dzeira, Chief of EMS for Central Oneida County Ambulance helped organize this event along with the U.S. Homeland Security Training Division.

Dzeira says the more real a drill is, the better it prepares all emergency responders involved for the real thing.

In this scenario that played out in several locations on the Hamilton College campus, a fictitious employee of the college had been fired and ended up going to a local school and kidnapping the child of a Hamilton College administrator. He then supposedly led police on a high speed chase back through the Hamilton College campus where he eventually crashed head-on into another vehicle.

The accident scenario was some very real training for members of the Clinton Fire Department who were the first responders after campus security.

Firefighters used the jaws of life to save two people, who thanks to some very real looking makeup, looked like they were severely injured.

After the victims were placed in nearby ambulances, one of the victims had told police they saw the driver of the other vehicle, the fictitious fired employee, run off into the nearby woods, taking his young hostage along.

Police say the scenario from here played out that he eventually made his way to a building on campus where he held the young female hostage along with 13 other females who were inside that school building at the time.

One of those volunteer hostages was Mary Evans, the Career Development Director at Hamilton College.

Evans says none of the hostages knew what the scenario was, so it made this fictitious crisis seem very real.

She says the fact that there was an actual real-life standoff in Oneida Castle going on at the very same time of this drill, made this event feel even more like a real situation for them,.

Trooper Shad Crowe with the New York State Police was one of the commanders involved in the hostage negotiations, "This helps the negotiators refine their skills. Drills like these just increase their ability."

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