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Chambersburg Mall used for fire drill

April 10, 2011|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com

SCOTLAND, Pa. — A call went out for a fire with one person injured at the Chambersburg Mall Sunday evening, but the exercise was just a drill, according to officials at the scene just off Pa. 997.

Units from seven Chambersburg-area fire departments responded to the simulated emergency, which was called a training exercise by Bill Wishard, fire chief of the Fayetteville Volunteer Fire Department.

Near the area of the Burlington Coat Factory, firefighters pulled hoses and practiced proper techniques for attacking a fire in a large structure like a mall. Wishard said they also went over ventilation tactics, and how to properly rescue and care for a victim.

“It was all about working together,” he said at the scene.

Daniel B. May, general manager of the mall, was also present as firefighters wrapped up with a discussion after the exercise about 7:15 p.m.

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May said the exercise was coordinated by the Franklin County Department of Emergency Services and the local fire departments. No alerts were sent out to the public or the media, he said.

“That’s why we did it after the mall was closed,” he said. The mall closed at 5 p.m. Sunday and the initial call for the exercise went out at about 6:15 p.m.

The drill was to help firefighters become more familiar with procedures, but also to become more familiar with members of other companies in the area that might respond to emergencies.

“It’s always a success when it’s a drill,” May said, adding that his secretary served as the “victim” in the call.

Departments responding to the drill included Fayetteville, New Franklin, Franklin, Letterkenny, Mont Alto, Friendship Engine and Hose, and West End Fire and Rescue of Shippensburg (Pa.).

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