Henry County emergency leaders say training is key

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HENRY CO., Va. (WDBJ7) With around 50,000 fans at the Martinsville Speedway Sunday.

First responders say they were able to put their training into action when a man hit 22 people with his car.

Henry County Public Safety Director Matt Tatum says they have dealt with similar situations in the past, once with a school bus accident and another time with a church bus.

He says when you have multiple victims and bystanders, they have to gain control and find a way to calm folks down.

This June, we were there as Martinsville and Henry County law enforcement spent the day training in tactical medical scenarios.

Tatum says when a real situation happens, it's training like this, that's key.

"We hope and pray they never get tested on them but from time to time you do get tested," Tatum said.

Tatum says with many victims, they want to make sure they do not, what's called relocate the disaster

"And you send all 20, 30 , 40 patients to , just about any especially one hospital like Martinsville Hospital then you've just relocated the disaster," Tatum said.

And when there is an accident at a large event, they are not just responding to help the victims but trying to control the thousands of other folks that may be in the area.

"Incidents involving a lot of people draws a lot of attention, we end up having to use resources that could be treating a patient," Tatum said.

So, Monday he's telling folks, if you are there as a bystander and willing to help, tell a first responder and then do exactly as they say.

"There are things that people can do to help. They can help keep the crowd back," Tatum said.

And after the fact, communication between agencies is important.

Tatum says he has spoken to the Henry County Sheriff's Office and they will be talking more very soon.