MDC employees work with Fruitland Fire Department, Air Evac Perryville on emergency drill

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) employees coordinated with the Fruitland Fire Department and Air Evac Perryville on an emergency management drill with three varying scenarios this week. According to Sara Turner, manager of the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, the scenarios were held at Apple Creek Conservation Area and were designed to prepare MDC employees to respond appropriately to emergency scenarios while working on remote conservation areas.

“MDC employees encounter emergencies on various conservation areas throughout the year, and this training gave them the opportunity to practice skills they need to know to respond and how to work more effectively with emergency personnel,” Turner said.

The varying, staged scenarios included a case of incidental shooting at the Apple Creek Conservation Area Shooting Range, a man who fell while trying to put up a tree stand, and a chainsaw injury incident. All the scenarios were staged by employees, giving other employees an opportunity to attempt to respond.

“We simulated a case of a broken leg and injured back with someone going into shock, and also a chainsaw injury,” Turner said. “Employees were able to call the Fruitland Fire Department via radio, landline or cell phone to respond depending on where they were on the conservation area and what was available.”

The Fruitland Fire Department used the experience as a training exercise as well, using their UTV and loading and securing manikin onto a backboard, sled, and basket.  

“We also received excellent instruction from Air Evac staff, who explained what MDC employees need to know to efficiently request help, assist with best areas for helicopter landings, weather condition scenarios and how we can make power lines more visible for their pilots when they need to land,” Turner said.

It was helpful that Air Evac allowed the employees to experience an actual remote helicopter landing during the exercise, she said.

“We want to express our gratitude to the Fruitland Fire Department and the Air Evac team for their help with this exercise,” Turner said. “Thanks to their help, we’re now able to be more confident in responding to emergency situations as we work on conservation areas and we can help Missourians more efficiently if they run into trouble while exploring nature.”

Turner said she encourages hunters, hikers and anyone enjoying the outdoors to be aware of their surroundings, plan before exploring nature, and always tell someone where they’re going and when they’ll return.

“Our first and most important mission is safety,” she said, adding that many MDC employees maintain active CPR and First Aid certification through the Red Cross.

For information on conservation areas near you, go online to For information on CPR and First Aid courses, or Wilderness First Aid courses, go online to or