WEST ST. LOUIS COUNTY - The Monarch Fire Protection District and Chesterfield Mall will host a multi-agency mass casualty exercise Sunday. This exercise will provide participants with an opportunity to assess capabilities, plans, policies and procedures. It will focus on decision-making, coordination and integration with other organizations during a mass shooter scenario. The expected outcome of the exercise is successful communication, information sharing and coordination between fire, EMS, law enforcement, FBI and St. Louis regional hospitals.
The scenario includes 2 active shooters shooting randomly at citizens in the mall. One of the shooters is shot by the police and detonates a backpack IED before he dies. The second shooter hears the explosion, takes hostages and is eventually neutralized, and rescue of the hostages is accomplished.
"The St. Louis area disaster preparedness capabilities have not been stressed to this level of realism since 1998 (during a previous mass casualty exercise). The 'best practices' learned from the increased terrorism activity over the last decade has changed the way we think and react toward the terrible acts against the innocent," Monarch Deputy Chief Nick Harper said.
Besides Monarch Fire and Chesterfield Mall, participants include nine additional fire/EMS agencies, 17 regional hospitals, well over 100 area high school students, Chesterfield Police, St. Louis County Police, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
The Monarch Fire Protection District located in St. Louis County Missouri covers approximately 55 square miles. Their boundaries include a large portion of the City of Chesterfield, they also cover parts of Ballwin, Clarkson Valley, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Wildwood and portions of unincorporated St. Louis County.