Amtrak Train Derailment PhotoThis week we talk with Chief Scott A. LaVielle, EFO, CFO, CEMSO, FM, MIFireE, from Tumwater, Washington, who was one the responding chief officers on the Washington State I-5 Amtrak Train Derailment incident. Scott talks about attending the NFA EMS Special Operations Course to develop skills and training on large-scale MCI incidents in March 2017 which prepared for him and his team for this event, though they couldn’t have predicted it ahead of time.

After attending the course, the local emergency response community in Thurston County, Washington started to organize their MCI plan for the county in April 2017. Thurston County had a plan in concept, according to Chief LaVielle, they just needed to put the plan into a document where they would all be on the same page.

After the plan was developed, the county agencies started training evolutions on it. As the plan developed, multiple agencies in Thurston County including Tumwater fire and police started training on such a plan with an active shooter scenario in June of 2017 at Black Hills High School.

Little did they know that the training would be put into effect less than a year later with the I-5 Amtrak derailment. Scott stresses the need for a “scalable plan” so that you can adjust from small to large to major mass casualty incident.

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Paragon Brings “The Experience”

Paragon Medical Education Group specializes in bringing what they call “The Experience” to jurisdictions around the country. They bring together police, fire, EMS, and hospital teams to train together and learn what to expect from each diverse group in the response team so that each knows what to expect from the other and how to back the other groups up. Visit Paragon’s site at for more information on how this can be brought into your system.




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